The Telco giants advertising campaign kicked off on the weekend with its sights aimed directly at the ACCC. In my humble opinion this is a pathetic campaign aimed at keeping its monopoly as Australia pay amazingly high fees for its fixed line services and on the whole have a terrible broadband infrastructure and the customer service from my standpoint has been terrible.
If the Federal Government brings out its plan for broadband in Australia and it solely involves Telstra and not an open network it will be a disgrace for the businesses and consumers of this country. Telstra can tell us all they like about wanting to do this for Australia, but on the other hand tell us if they do not get what they want then they will invest elsewhere – that’s the spirit!
They also call the ACCC a rogue body. Well here is my message. The Australian people have had to put up with ridiculous charges, low download caps, slow broadand speeds and their competitors in the past have had to pay more for access than Bigpond charges and the ONLY organisation that has kept some of these things in line has been the ACCC.
Telstra think that because so many Australians are investors that they will want the Telco to make more money. I can tell you that if Telstra actually had competition the majority of shareholders would have more money in their pockets through savings in their phone and broadband bills than they would ever make in dividends from being shareholders.
Example (Me): I pay around $8,000 per annum in fixed line telephone and broadband. If you look at the US market and we added 20% to the bill after exchange rates, I would be able to have ADSL2+ broadband and all of my local and national calls for around $1,500 per annum. In the US you get all local, national and calls to Canada for USD $25 per month, you can also get unlimited ADSL2+ broadband in most capital cities for $50 USD per month.
Telephone charges here in Australia are a joke and the only thing that will break this is an open fibre to the node network. Because Telstra own the last mile (from the exchange to the homes) it will then try to increase these fees. But with WiMAx just around the corner and wireless to become ubiquitous over the next ten years we will see the end of this monopoly and they can just play like the rest of businesses in Australia.
I for one would like to see how Telstra fare once they really have to compete, because since being privatised they have had it mostly their own way. The only reason Telstra are doing all of this is because they know they cannot continue making money from fixed line (although they will string it out as long as they possibly can) and they know that owning broadband networks will allow them to continually sail into the sunset with massive profits.
I will be watching just what this government does in relation to their plan to be released soon. They have two problems, one Labor’s plan which is what we need and two backlash from shareholders if they make it hard for Telstra.
My bet? The government will cave in to Telstra and then try to make it look like a brilliant plan for Australians. Unfortunately for them they are dealing with a far more intelligent consumer than even 4 years ago and the Labor party and the G9 will pool together resources (their own ad campaign) and make things even tougher, but it will be fun to see who can lie the best!