In policy debates about the appropriate regulation of next generation fibre access networks, a good deal of attention has been paid to various forms of ‘separation’ between network, wholesale and retail operations. This discussion is no longer theoretical, because ‘open access’ next generation networks are now operating or being constructed. This paper investigates four different models around the world, each at different stages of deployment:
- Alberta, Canada, where a commercial company Axia has been operating the province-wide ‘SuperNet’ since 2005. This is an optic fibre network connecting 4700 sites (provincial government and municipality offices, health and education sites, libraries) in 27 urban and 402 rural communities. Axia is the government’s service provider across the whole network and the wholesaler of capacity to retail providers in the rural communities.
- Singapore, where a network is under construction taking fibre to 1.12 million residential premises and 152,000 other premises. Separate companies are building the physical infrastructure (‘Net Co’) and installing the electronics and network termination devices in customer premises and operating the network (‘Op Co’).
- Australia, where a national FTTP network is being built to reach 93% of households and businesses. Wireless will be used to deliver download speeds of at least 12 Mbps to the other 7%. Around 200,000 households will get FTTP in Tasmania, where services commenced in mid-2010.
- New Zealand, where the national government has promised ‘superfast broadband’ within six years to all businesses, schools and health services, greenfields developments and some residential users, and to 75% of the population within ten years.
Drawing on interviews conducted in the four territories in 2009 and 2010, the paper will investigate the common, contrasting and unique features of these four models.
Middleton, Catherine A. and Given, Jock, "Open Access Broadband Networks in Alberta, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand" (2010). Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management Publications and Research. Paper 23.