find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Lawyers wired over NBN legislation

Lawyers wired over NBN legislation

Draft legislation that enables the government to target Telstra's government and enterprise business with its new national broadband network has lawyers, and Telstra itself, wired.

DRAFT legislation that enables the government to target Telstra’s government and enterprise business with its new national broadband network has lawyers, and Telstra itself, wired up.

The Opposition’s efforts to halt Senate discussions on the legislation was voted down today. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy opposed the Opposition’s calls to delay debate, saying it only wanted to “delay, obfuscate and obstruct”.

Debate on the proposed bill has already been delayed twice, once in November and again in February. But another debate continues to rage amongst lawyers, who claim the legislation could force Telstra’s hand on giving up its wholesale supply business.

Brisbane technology expert Michael Morris, head of Hopgood Ganim’s intellectual property and technology team, said the latest bills state that the NBN Company, which will own and operate the NBN network, is to be wholesale only and open access to maximise competition.

But, Morris said, the bills give the Communications Minister the discretion to allow the NBN Company to supply retail services to end users including government agencies.

Morris said Telstra can now decide to compete with the NBN Company, or cooperate with it by selling the wholesale arm of its business. He added that the two would have different ideas on what the government should pay to acquire Telstra’s wholesale business.

“As Telstra derives much of its business from supplying services to government departments, it may now be forced to sell the wholesale arm of its business at a less than favourable price, or risk losing its government retail work to the NBN Company”, he said.

“Telstra is one of the most integrated telecommunication companies in the world, as it owns the fixed line copper network in Australia that connects every premise and business, including Telstra’s competitors.

“Telstra’s combined wholesale and retail structure has, for years, created issues between Telstra and its competitors, as they are forced to negotiate wholesale access to Telstra’s network.” Morris said.

“The power granted to the Communications Minister is a fundamental shift from one of the original purposes of the legislation - to establish a “wholesale only company” that will change the telecommunications landscape by eliminating the conflict of interest that currently exists. If the NBN Company can compete on a retail level, then arguably this goal is no longer met”.



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers wired over NBN legislation
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...