- Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland tells the audience that there is an urgent need to examine NBN Co’s latest pricing proposals more carefully.
- The Labour MP is talking about NBN Co’s proposed soft cap as an approach to lessen the risk of unexpected rise in traffic for RSPs.
- Rowland expresses her concern over the extent of outsourcing and the accompanying process by which skilled labour within the public sector is eliminated by the introduction of technologies.
In her attendance to a summit, Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland tells the audience that there is an urgent need to examine NBN Co’s latest pricing proposals more carefully. To quote her own words, “Not only did the NBN pricing announcement last week make pricing more complex, but it appears to financially disadvantage retail providers who churn customers onto 5G networks. If this is in fact what is happening, it would be reasonable for the ACCC to take a close look at what is going on,” Rowland explains.
The Labour MP is talking about NBN Co’s proposed soft cap as an approach to lessen the risk of unexpected rise in traffic for RSPs. Among the prerequisites for the soft cap is for the RSP’s monthly churn to fall below its past yearly churn rate plus 10%. According to Rowland, using the restricted pricing offers to dampen churn is an intensification of how market power is being manipulated. Although the Shadow Minister recognises the need of NBN Co to defend its continuing costs, she still attacks the proverbial “sushi train of cost blowouts” as regards the network rollout.
However, she is out to challenge NBN Co’s refusal to make public the modelling of a flat-rate pricing arrangement.
“If the removal of variable capacity charging is a bad idea, then simply release the modelling to retail providers and make the case for why that is so,” Rowland articulates. “Allow the industry to test the arguments and have a genuine debate about the trade-offs.” She moreover unveils that there was “authentic concern” that modelling was being held back “because it would inadvertently expose what the underlying cost recovery objectives for NBN actually are.”
Rowland’s speech has governance within the communications portfolio as its key premise. This also mentions the Cartier controversy at the Australia Post wherein said luxury watches were given as executive bonuses that led to the consequent resignation of its CEO, Christine Holgate. NBN CO is alleged to have dispensed the bonuses as gifts.
As the Labour MP clarifies matters at the summit, “The notion that bonuses should be paid without regard to the public character of the institution, and the contextual restraint that public character requires, is something that needs to be addressed. There is a balance that Australians expect to be struck, and the board has an important role to play in helping to find that balance. What is clear is that the boards of Australia Post and NBN Co have failed their recent tests.”
Rowland expresses her concern over the extent of outsourcing and the accompanying process by which skilled labour within the public sector is eliminated by the introduction of technologies. She aptly describes it this way “certain reform processes in the portfolio are drawn out, ill-conceived or inadequate, all while the consultants’ reports pile up.”