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Monday, 23 November 2015 12:12

The (2nd largest) Empire strikes back

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TPG strikes back TPG strikes back

TPG strikes back at the national broadband network (NBN) tax, with calls for it to be met by government or shared with over-the-top service providers, (OTT) such as Netflix or Stan.

At the very least it claims the tax should be reviewed.

In a public submission to the Bureau of Communications Research (BCR) TPG has opposed the tax that has been levied solely against operators of high‐speed fixed line network operators.

In an effort to help address the developing NBN’s shortfall in funding, the BCR has recommended $6/month be levied against each high speed fixed internet line in Australia.

The second largest internet service provider in Australia and operator of the largest mobile virtual network operator considers that the tax on operators of fixed line superfast broadband networks will be another distortion in an already difficult industry and should therefore be reconsidered.  

TPG believes that the cost of social objectives should be met from social resources, that is, general government revenue which is collected to meet the objectives of Australian society. 

It also states that the BCR could have considered the “industry” to have a wider definition than pure carriers and carriage service providers," explaining that “a big proportion of the TPG group’s cost of supplying NBN services is incurred carrying the traffic of significant OTT providers like Netflix and Stan."  

TPG complains that these sorts of OTT service providers are contributing nothing to the cost of the national broadband network but will be significant beneficiaries of the increased market that will become available to them.  

It warns that if the tax does not include wireless services, then it will invest more heavily on mobile networks that compete against the nnb.

It adds that the tax is hardly the "most effective way to create an incentive on NBN to control its costs,"  and that economic activity in Australia should not always be fraught with the risk of new taxes.

"A far more serious disincentive to high cost non‐commercial services will be political oversight and media scrutiny."

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