Monday, April 11, 2005

It doesn't hurt enough yet!

So, having determined that Telstra's service levels in RARA are inadequate, we are still demanding the entrenchment of the problem. For crying out loud people, put the provision of these loss-making services out to tender as a taxpayer-funded essential service. If Telstra offers the most attractive package, then by all means award the contract to Telstra. Mandating that Telstra supply this service means has the side effect of granting Telstra an unshakeable monopoly and there can therefore be no competitive service provision. As a result, RARA politicians are essentially demanding a course of action that will prevent the problem from ever being fixed.

Madness, utter madness.

Farmers fear Telstra sale safeguards lack focus. 11/04/2005. ABC News Online: "A Senate committee is investigating a bill requiring Telstra to maintain a presence in regional, rural and remote areas if it goes into full private ownership.


Federal Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan says the Telstra inquiry is being held irrespective of any Government plans to sell off the rest of the company.


'It goes to things like the competitive environment, the access environment - it's something that competitors of Telstra have sought and something that Telstra itself has welcomed,' she said."

UPDATE: It appears that I spoke a little too soon. The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) appears to have grasped the problem, I am no longer following the ins and outs closely enough to be able to work out who's pushing the "it's Telstra's job" line, but at least the NFF has realised that maybe making a single provider solely responsible is an undesirable solution.

Farmers hold Govt responsible for Telstra services. 11/04/2005. ABC News Online: "NFF's strong position is that it is the Government's responsibility, and not that of any particular provider, to ensure that service standards are up to scratch," [Mark Needham] said.