Wednesday, 04 May 2016 11:24

MyNetFone's Sugo says govt Budget inaction threatens NBN, telco industry viability

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Rene Sugo, CEO and co-founder of telecommunications and network provider MNF Group – owner of retail telco MyNetFone – has criticised the Federal Government for not taking the opportunity to write-off part of the nbn build in Tuesday’s budget.  

According to MNF's Sugo, the inaction by the Turnbull Government threatens the feasibility of the NBN business model – and could affect the viability of the entire telco industry.

Sugo says the NBN wholesale pricing model business case is currently usage-based and relies on reaching an “unrealistic” target of 80% of all Australian households having an active NBN service by 2020 to generate sufficient revenue to repay the investment of building the network.  

Sugo claims shortfalls in activation numbers and resulting revenue will need to be recouped via an increase in retail prices making it unattractive for providers to sell or for consumers to buy.

The MNF chief warns that the NBN business case is under serious threat and failure for the scheme to reach a critical mass of activations “could ultimately affect the viability of the whole telco industry and leave consumers worse off”.

“In order to reach its targets, NBN has to be the ‘number one choice’ for data services for consumers and be available at a viable price point for service providers of all sizes to resell.  As it stands, this is not going to be realistic.”

Sugo says that a fair pricing model would allow middle players to step up and effectively compete in the market, driving NBN uptake and balancing out the challenge of the NBN bypass services. “Australia needs a healthy, competitive telecommunications industry for this ambitious NBN build to succeed.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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