Minister Paul Fletcher introduced the legislation in Parliament on Thursday. It proposes a levy of $7 per month on every service connected to a non-NBN network, such as TPG’s fibre to the basement network.
In a statement, Rowland referred to a statement made by Fletcher in a speech to CEDA, in response to a query about the NBN: "We are going to need to rely on and boost competition to make sure that our fixed networks continue to upgrade and stay in tune with world developments.”
The NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network, is struggling to balance its books, and is trying every tactic it can to take the average revenue per user to $52 in order to break even.
Said Rowland: "The Bill... is a direct contradiction of that statement – it is a levy whose primary purpose is to reduce competition.
"No wonder the telecommunications industry is perplexed by the minister’s confused rhetoric on issues such as the role of NBN in enterprise and investment in competing networks.
“At a time of uncertainty, the last thing the industry needs is a minister who says one thing and then does another.”