December 2, 2010 / 10:33 PM / 9 years ago

Australia regulator tells govt to reject NBN monopoly plan -report

SYDNEY, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Australia’s competition regulator has told the government to reject a plan by its $35 billion National Broadband Network to extend its monopoly by limiting the points where internet service providers can access the network, The Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told the government to discard the NBN’s plan to build just 14 “interconnection” points in five capital cities and instead it would require 200 such points, the newspaper said in an unsourced report.

The interconnection points allow service providers to hook into the NBN’s fibre optic network to deliver broadband services.

The super-fast broadband plan was a key election for Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labor. Rival phone companies have been critical of the plan and want to be able to connect at up to 400 points around Australia.

Earlier this month Parliament passed a bill to force dominant phone company Telstra Corp to separate its wholesale and retail arms, enabling the government to finalise an A$11 billion deal with the firm for the use of its fixed-line assets in developing the NBN. (Reporting by Michael Smith; editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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