Network Insight Institute
Building viable NGN markets
This publication is the record of our expert round table held in August 2004, which shares thinking about future competition and co-operation arrangements in the new telecommunications landscape. It also deals with commercial and structural arrangements for NGNs. It asks whether co-operative investment, efficient use of shared infrastructure, and the standards for NGN interconnection will require some changes to the rules of play. The changes might be new negotiating fora, improved forms of multi-party contract, new roles for industry bodies and regulators; possibly even law reform. The report brings together a mix of experts in economics, regulation, mediation, law, engineering, plus management experience in telecommunications and other public utilities.
Issues discussed in the published record include these: how competitors might reach specified co-operative agreement (eg. on new infrastructure incentives); how players might jointly trial technologies and standards with agreed exit strategies; whether there is a new model of negotiation, where multiple parties (possibly greater than 15) can contribute to a contractual core. Information issues included: how asymmetric will the information needs of different competitors/allies be, and how might they be balanced; appropriate levels of info access and confidentiality; and the right kind of honest broker to manage the info. Contractual issues include: How can new dispute resolution processes facilitate initial agreement? How can contracts provide manageable, realistic compensation (instead of ‘dispute resolution’) for below-target performance? How would current commercial ADR practices apply?
Rob Albon, Economist, ACCC
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