Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
Launch of Macquarie Telecom's New Data Network
Thursday 9 March 2006
Thank you David [Tudehope CEO Macquarie Telecom]
It is a pleasure to be here today to launch Macquarie Telecom's new Metro Access Network.
I think Macquarie Telecom provides a great example of how well Australia 's open telecommunications regime is working.
They are an Australian firm that is successfully competing for substantial contracts and investing in significant new infrastructure.
This is an excellent sign for the future of the industry and the Australian Government is committed to maintaining conditions that stimulate growth and competition in telecommunications.
The new Data Network
This new data network addresses a number of business challenges.
It allows customers to significantly increase their bandwidth without increasing their budgets and without losing reliability.
It provides businesses with an efficient network that has the potential to expand. And it removes the local access bottleneck for corporate customers.
This is a leading edge example of a Next Generation Network.
Macquarie will offer three main services over its network – Internet access, a private networking service and later this year will add basic telephony services.
And Macquarie will offering services at range of speeds – up to 24 megabits per second I am informed – at a comparable price to some of the larger competitors.
The emergence of Next Generation Networks is delivering a new and wider range of benefits and opportunities to Australian businesses.
And the important thing for all Australians is that the higher-speed internet connectivity delivered by these networks can result in significant economic and social benefits.
The 2003 Broadband Advisory Group found that ‘high speed communications access can deliver significant increases in GDP, expand employment and increase international competitiveness.'
And for Macquarie Telecom's customers the Metro Access Network will bring IP closer to the end user, and provide improved bandwidth, ubiquity and multimedia functionality.
Government approach to regulation
The Government firmly believes that competition is the best means of delivering better and more innovative services to business consumers. Macquarie Telecom's new data network is an example of competition at work.
Effective competition is the strongest incentive for investment in new networks and services.
Analysis by the ACCC indicates that the corporate telecommunications market in Australia is generally more competitive than the residential and small-to-medium enterprise markets.
And Macquarie Telecom's continuing growth and expansion are certainly a testament to this.
The Government has also championed the role of industry self-regulation in the telecommunications industry.
And Macquarie Telecom certainly takes an active role in the debate on government policy regarding the industry in Australia and the region.
I thank Macquarie Telecom for its reliable and well-thought-out submissions to Government inquiries and reviews.
Macquarie Telecom has also shown leadership as the first carrier to sign all 13 ACMA registered Australian Communications Industry Forum ( ACIF ) codes.
It is a member of the Service Providers' Association (SPAN), and won the SPAN award for ‘promotion of competition' in 2003.
On top of this, Macquarie Telecom is also a member of the Competitive Carriers Coalition , and a founding member of the Asia Pacific Carriers Coalition.
Macquarie Telecom's expansion into the Asia Pacific markets demonstrates its ability to take on new challenges and succeed.
It is also pleasing to see an Australian company successfully exporting high technology services into competitive markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
This is a tribute to the international competitiveness of the Australian IT&C industry.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate Macquarie Telecom on this network and also thank you for your contribution to maintaining a competitive telecommunications market in Australia.
New technology, new consumer demands, and new players in the market are ensuring that this is a very exciting period for the industry.