Upstart telcos will find it cheaper to get started after July 1, 2004, following an announcement by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) that it is slashing application and annual charges for telecommunications carriers.
Carrier licence application charges will drop from $10,000 to $2000, while the fixed component of the annual carrier licence charge will drop from $10,000 to $1000.
The price cuts follow a review by the ACA that found high licence charges were effectively handing larger, incumbent telcos a hefty subsidy and potentially impeding competition, particularly in rural areas.
“The review found that there has been some cross-subsidisation of larger carriers by small carriers. Reducing these charges for smaller players provides equity by avoiding an effective subsidy in favour of the major carriers and will encourage new entrants into the market. We expect these new entrants to operate in niche markets including markets in regional areas,” said ACA chairman Dr Bob Horton.