- The unquantified costs and benefits over proposed extension of the Consumer Data Right to telecoms worried Comms Alliance.
- Comms Alliance also calls on the Government to extend the sectoral assessment process for six months.
- Comms Alliance is concerned that the Treasury consultation paper underestimates the degree of telecom competition.
The unquantified costs and benefits over the proposed extension of the Consumer Data Right to the telecoms sector worried Communications Alliance significantly.
Comms Alliance submitted a short consultation by the Federal Treasury over the introduction of the CDR to telecoms. In it, Comms Alliance said the initial consultation: “lends a greater focus on the potential benefits of the CDR in our sector but tends to fail to attribute equal importance to the costs that such a regime would impose.”
“It is imperative that the sectoral assessment for our sector, or for any sector for that matter, while focusing on consumer benefits, does not lose track of the costs associated with realising those benefits, as well as the likelihood of those benefits actually materialising,” Comms Alliance further added in the consultation.
“It is tempting to take a ‘futuristic approach’ and speculate about benefits for consumers, some of which will no doubt materialise, when the costs are (in the first place) borne by industry – but are likely to be passed on, in one form or another, to consumers.”
Comms Alliance also calls: “on the Government to extend the sectoral assessment process in the telecommunications sector for a period of six months, in order to provide additional time to adequately assess the social and economic benefits generated in the banking and energy sectors and to test the hypothesis that CDR frameworks will, indeed, spark the innovative market/product forces that have been projected.”
Comms Alliance is concerned that the Treasury consultation paper appears to underestimate the degree of competition in the telecom sector. According to Comms Alliance, it is unclear how the CDR would resolve what the paper suggests are issues with telecom competition currently. This includes the complexity in technical understanding of claims about broadband speeds and data quotas.
“Given how easy it is already to switch providers and the competitive nature of the telecommunications market, it is not clear how the CDR would have any positive impact on the prices of services for consumers, noting that prices for telecommunications service have already decreased dramatically over the past decade (i.e. without the existence of a CDR),” Comms Alliance also says.
Comms Alliance further added that it: “rejects the inclusion of quality-of-service, the performance of fault data in the data set as either infeasible, impractical, potentially misleading or not being CDR data (e.g. device, network or carrier data) and requests that each data class be subject to a rigorous dynamic cost-benefit analysis.”