Australia will be only one of the very few OECD countries where the government, if Telstra’s full privatisation goes ahead doesn’t hold a share in the national telecommunications infrastructure. Other governments acknowledge that telecommunications is crucial to the social and economic structure of their countries.
Table 1 – Government shares in Telcos – 2001
Government Ownership %
Post und Telekom
Sasktel owned by Province of Saskatchewan
14% in Mobilix
51 (33% in 2002
Hungarian Telecoms Co.
3.46 + Golden share
Telefones de Mexico
Most of these countries admit that there is little or no hope for national infrastructure competition. Telecommunications infrastructure is more and more seen as a natural monopoly. This requires a total rethink around government telecommunications policies. And around the globe there is also growing agreement that structural separation is essential to create horizontally functional organisations that allow competition on various levels over the network. This is an essential requirement for the development of the next generation of broadband applications in community care, healthcare, education and entertainment.
Clearly the debate should by now have moved on from ensuring that the people in rural regions get a good telephone service. These are the kinds of issues that are currently being debated in the developing world. We should now be talking about the infrastructure for a knowledge-based society; about broadband and the next stage – fibre-to-the-home. These are the topics being discussed in countries that are similar to Australia.
Australia – Privatisation of Telstra
Global – Regulatory – Introduction and Overview, Privatisation
Global – Regulatory – Structural Separation
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