Cost-Benefit Analysis and Review of Regulation (Vertigan Report)
NBN Panel of Experts
An independent review of the Telecommunications Access Regime. Part of the Review satisfies the statutory requirement in s 152EOA of the CCA.
The 'NBN Panel of Experts' is chaired by Dr Michael Vertigan AC. Other members of the panel are:
- Ms Alison Deans
- Professor Henry Ergas
- Mr Tony Shaw
The terms of reference were announced on 12 December 2013:
Independent Cost-Benefit Analysis and Review of Regulation Terms of Reference
Source: Australian Government (URL accessed 17 July 2014)
The purpose of the Independent cost-benefit analysis and review of regulation is to analyse the economic and social costs and benefits (including both direct and indirect effects) arising from the availability of broadband of differing properties via various technologies, and to make recommendations on the role of Government support and a number of other longer-term industry matters.
Information flowing from the NBN Co Strategic Review should be considered as input to this analysis/review.
The review is to report to the Government within six months of these terms of reference being received on the following questions:
1. What is the direct and indirect value, in economic and social terms, of increased broadband speeds, and to what extent should broadband be supported by the government?
a. This should consider the economic and social benefits of bringing forward improvements in broadband speed and the respective benefits of alternative / potential technologies.
b. It should also consider the extent to which market pricing mechanisms can capture the value of benefits (including benefits to Australian governments).
a. This should include coverage of the requirements of the statutory review of the telecommunication industry access arrangements required under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
3. How should the activities of NBN Co be constrained given its mandate to efficiently build, operate and maintain a wholesale-only access network?
a. This should include consideration of the issues associated with infrastructure based competition and the economic benefit of alternatives.
b. Recommendations should be made on the structure of the Australian wholesale broadband market, including regulatory arrangements.
4. How should NBN Co’s capital investment, products and pricing be reviewed and regulated?
a. This should consider advice on how products should be structured to promote efficiency, consumer choice and competition.
b. This should also consider, in the context of NBN Co’s proposed pricing structure, the extent to which retail price controls should be continued.
The panel has released a number of working documents:
- Cost-Benefit Analysis - Analytical Framework
- Telecommunications Regulatory Arrangement Paper (view submissions)
- Regulatory Framing Paper (view submissions)
These documents can be found here
The first report was produced by the Panel on 30 June 2014 and tabled in Parliament on 16 July 2014:
The report runs to 97 pages and makes 34 recommendations.
The report noted a 'high level of satisfaction' with the 2010-2011 changes to the legislative framework and its operation (page 6) and that the
'broad framework should be retained largely unchanged for the time being but with some important modifications. The recommended modifications deal mostly with NBN Co's non-discrimination obligations, regulatory recourse to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to an NBN Co access agreement and oversight of regulatory decision-making' (page 6)
This report was released on 27 August 2014:
The Market and Regulatory Review was released on 1 October 2014)
- View NBN Market and Regulation Report
- View preliminary Government response: Malcolm Turnbull MP, 'Vertigan panel lays out path to less telecommunication regulation' (1 October 2014)
For media see, for example:
- Andrew Colley, 'NBN Co should be split up: Vertigan panel' (itnews, 1 October 2014)
- David Ramli, 'NBN carve-up rejected as Vertigan ecommendations sidelined' (SMH, 1 October 2014)
- Richard Chirgwin, 'Vertigan hands Turnbull a knife, Turnbull carves Vertigan report' (The Register, 2 October 2014)
- Supratim Adhikari, 'NBN Co split best option for competition: Vertigan panel' (Business Spectator, 2 October 2014)
- Mitchell Bingemann, 'Federal cabinet considers plan to split up and sell off NBN' (The Australian, 2 October 2014)