National Farmers' Federation

Coverage a priority but new ideas needed for mobile market competition

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to contemplate innovative ways of increasing competition in Australia’s mobile network market, following today’s draft decision not to regulate wholesale roaming in Australia.
“As producers of quality produce in a global market, we more than understand the importance of competition,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“However, given that in large parts of regional Australia – where farmers live and do their business – there is little or no mobile coverage, our priority has always been ensuring mobile coverage continues to expand.
“We understand the gravity of this draft decision and the significant ramifications for the Australian telecommunications market.
“Much of the debate throughout this inquiry has been black and white – increased competition or increased mobile coverage.
“However, this significantly oversimplifies the issues. The NFF does not believe that it needs to be as clear cut as this.
“We propose there are other ways to ensure greater competition amongst mobile providers – strategies such as incentivising infrastructure sharing and co-investment would be effective.
“Today we are calling on the ACCC to consider new ways of creating competition in the Australian mobile network, while preserving the incentive to continually increase coverage.
“We look forward to working with the mobile network providers and the Federal Government to develop innovative measures to increase both coverage and competition in the market,” Ms Simson said.
The NFF is a member of the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition. The Coalition is a group of like-minded organisations who have come together to end the data drought and champion better communications services for consumers and small businesses living in rural, remote or regional areas.

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