Conroy to force telco broadband disclosure

Reluctant Australian broadband companies will be forced by law to provide information on their internet infrastructure networks as part of Labor’s $4.7 billion broadband tender process.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy sent a letter to telcos including Telstra and Pipe Networks on Monday advising them the Government will legislate to require them to provide the required information, The Australian reports.

Several telcos have expressed concerns about who will bear the cost of any losses they suffer through revealing sensitive commercial information on their broadband networks to competitors involved in the tender process.

Conroy reportedly assured the telcos in a letter that the legislation will contain “strong safeguards” to ensure the confidentiality of their information.

Conroy will be under pressure to have the legislation passed through Parliament as soon as possible if the Government is to meet the tight time line it has set for the roll-out of its national fibre-to-the-node broadband network.

And in other telco news, the mobile phone sector achieved a strong 9.9% revenue growth in 2007, according to JP Morgan research.

An additional 1.4 million mobile phone subscriptions were reportedly taken last year, a 38% jump on 2006 subscriber growth.

That helped the big four telcos Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Hutchison to $11.25 billion in 2007.

Several mobile phone companies performed strongly in the recent SmartCompany Dun & Bradstreet Industry Growth List for the telecommunications industry.

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