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Is Telstra’s regional monopoly holding back small business growth?

August 23, 2017 Conferences No Comments Email Email

According to telecommunications and small business experts, ahead of the Vodafone National Small Business Summit in Melbourne this week, the answer is yes. On the agenda, will be how domestic mobile roaming is Australia’s best opportunity to drive mobile coverage expansion in regional areas.

Currently, Telstra holds a taxpayer-funded mobile monopoly in vast areas of regional Australia. The Summit hosted by the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA)will support the right for regional businesses to have the same coverage enjoyed by their metropolitan counterparts.

The introduction of domestic mobile roaming would allow all Australians to use their mobile wherever coverage exists, regardless of their provider. This removes the need for multiple carriers to duplicate infrastructure in regional areas, so that carriers, governments and communities could co-invest in one expanded, shared set of infrastructure which delivers new coverage.

Dan Lloyd, Chief Strategy Officer and Corporate Affairs DirectorVodafone will champion the call at the Summit to improve coverage, competition and choice in regional areas.

“Domestic roaming would be a game changer for small businesses in regional Australia, unlocking enormous opportunities for innovation, productivity and growth through improved mobile coverage and competition.

“Telstra’s regional mobile network is the network taxpayers built, with around $2 billion in government funding and subsidies given to Telstra since 2006. All small businesses in regional Australia should be able to benefit from taxpayers’ investment, instead of being stung with Telstra’s price premium,” said Mr Lloyd.

Domestic mobile roaming has proved successful in similar countries around the world.

“Mobile roaming has been effectively regulated in virtually every other western country with similar challenges of large land area and low population density – the USA, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Spain. It should be a no-brainer for Australia,” concluded Mr Lloyd.

Small business advocate, Peter Strong, CEO of Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) supports Mr Lloyd’s call for increased competition through domestic mobile roaming.

“Small businesses across the country would benefit from increased competition in the rural telecommunications. Sector competition encourages product improvement and lower costs, both which rural small business people and consumers alike would welcome,” said Mr Strong.

Mr Lloyd will join senior politicians and industry leaders at Australia’s premier small business policy event to discuss key issues facing small business in Australia, including banking payments, cyber security, the digital economy, regulation red-tape and more.

Key speakers include:

  • The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition

  • The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy
  • The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Federal Minister for Small Business
  • Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
  • Anna Bligh, CEO, Australian Bankers Association
  • Dan Lloyd, Chief Strategy Officer and Corporate Affairs Director, Vodafone
  • Richard Flanagan, Head of Business Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand
  • Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive, Business Council Australia

Vodafone is partnering with the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) to host the Vodafone National Small Business Summit, Australia’s premier policy event for small business representatives, government and industry leaders which will take place in Melbourne, 23 – 25 August 2017.

Registrations are open for the Vodafone National Small Business Summit. For more information please visit: www.cosboansbs.com.au

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