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Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010

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The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia






Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010



(1)     Senate amendment 2, omit amendment, substitute :

            ; and  (c)  the universal availability of affordable carriage services, including broadband services, in the most cost effective manner that best combines least cost to the consumer and least cost to the public purse and as a consequence thereof, greatest increase in the public welfare of all Australians.


(2)     Clause 2, page 3 (after table item 12), insert:

13.  Schedule 1, Part 10

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.




(3)     Schedule 1, page 204 (after line 3), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 10—Productivity Commission to prepare cost-benefit analysis on availability NBN

Telecommunications Act 1997

1  After section 24


24A   Productivity Commission to prepare and publish a cost-benefit analysis

             (1)  For the purpose of enabling Australians to determine whether the object in subsection 3(1)( c)  is being realised, the Productivity Commission must prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the structural separation of Telstra and the related proposal to establish a National Broadband Network and publish it by 31 May 2011.

             (2)  The cost-benefit analysis must include the following matters:

                     (a)  an analysis of the availability of accessible and affordable carriage, including broadband services, across Australia, identifying those suburbs and regions where current service is of a lesser standard or higher price than the best services available in the capital cities;

                     (b)  a consideration of the different options by which broadband services of particular speeds could be made available to, and for the purpose of the enhancement of the welfare of,  all Australians (particularly those in regional and remote areas and those in underserved metropolitan areas) with an estimate of the likely timeframe and cost of each option;

                     (c)  a consideration of the economy-wide benefits likely to flow from enhanced broadband services around Australia, the applications likely to be used on such services, and in particular a consideration of the different scale of such benefits depending on the broadband speed available;

                     (d)  a full and transparent costing of the proposed NBN project, including any financial and economic projections, models, assumption and sensitivity calculations underpinning the estimates;

                     (e)  an examination of the likely pricing structure of NBN services;

                      (f)  an examination of reasonable commercial rates of return and cash flows for NBN Co, taking into account NBN Co’s costs of equity and debt and the risk profile of both NBN Co and the market in which it operates;

                     (g)  a consideration of what the likely realisable value of NBN Co would be if it were to be privatised after five years, as currently contemplated in the legislation;

                     (h)  an examination of the design, construction and operating arrangements of the proposed NBN project, so that direct and indirect outcomes from its construction and operation can be identified and evaluated;

                      (i)  an examination of the likely environmental and health impacts of the construction of the NBN;

                      (j)  an analysis of the likely effects of the access arrangements set out in this Act and the proposed NBN on competition in the Australian fixed-line broadband market, including its effects on the scope for competition among different technologies for fixed-line and wireless broadband provision;

                     (k)  an analysis of the impact of any impact of any exemption from the Trade Practices Act 1974 / Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in connection to the NBN;

                      (l)  benchmarking of the NBN against comparable broadband services available in overseas markets;

                    (m)  consideration of potential technological advances and the likely impact on the NBN, including whether future technologies may be superior;

                     (n)  consideration of the likely take-up rate for NBN services, having particular regard to international experience;

                     (o)  consideration of the national building social and community-specific benefits flowing from the NBN, having particular regard to rural and regional communities.

             (3)  The Productivity Commission Act 1998 applies in relation to the requirement in subsection (1) as if:

                     (a)  the requirement were a matter referred to the Productivity Commission for an inquiry by the Minister; and

                     (b)  the Minister had required the Productivity Commission to hold hearings for the purposes of the inquiry under paragraph 11(1)(a) of that Act.

             (4)  Sections 11 and 12 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998 do not apply in relation to the inquiry, other than as provided for by subsection (3).

[Productivity Commission to prepare cost-benefit analysis on NBN]