On 20 December 2010, the Government released a
Statement of Expectations for NBN Co and its final response to
the Implementation Study. The Statement covered key areas of
network design and coverage, confirmation of funding arrangements
and provision of calls to emergency services.
Following the joint ACCC/NBN Co consultation process, the
Government has accepted the ACCC's advice that NBN Co establish
approximately 120 points of interconnection (POIs)
to the National Broadband Network (NBN);
comprising 80 in metropolitan Australia and 40 in regional
Australia (semi-distributed model). This will extend the NBN to
meet, not overbuild, competitive backhaul routes. Scrutiny and
pricing determination powers recently given to the ACCC with the
passage of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment
(Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Act 2010 (Cth) may be used by
the Commission, if necessary, to declare prices in order to promote
effective competition over these routes.
Network footprint - Greenfields
The Government expects NBN Co to provide fibre-to-the premises
technology to multi-dwelling units that fall within the fibre
footprint. The Government has foreshadowed further review and/or
the imposition of a levy if issues arise in connection with access
to multi-dwelling buildings or cherry-picking.
Network footprint - Architecture
The Government's preferred position is for the provision of
wholesale services by NBN Co to extend to layer 1 unbundling (in
addition to the layer 2 bitstream service). This would require
network design to conform to home run topology, rather than the
Gigabit Passive Optical Network system proposed by NBN Co as the
most practical solution for brownfields network areas. The
Government has accepted this position but has also requested a
trial of home-run fibre in a new development in early 2012.
NBN Co will be funded with Government equity until it has
sufficient cash flows to support private sector debt. An equity
agreement will be entered into with NBN Co for the rollout period
with equity funding based on the expected $27.5 billion funding
requirement advised by the NBN Co.
Uniformity - planning and pricing
The Government will present to the Council of Australian
Governments a proposal for State and Territory governments to
streamline their planning and development processes to implement a
nationally consistent approach.
The Government will undertake further consultation to:
require new fibre networks built after 1 January 2011 for
residential/small business purposes to be wholesale-only as well as
offering a Layer 2 service on an open access basis; and
ensure access to battery back-up services for telephones during
a power outage.
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The issue of recording telephone calls was recently considered in the Federal Court in Furnari v Ziegert  FCA 1080.
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