MEDIA STATEMENT - ACCC mobile roaming declaration inquiry

Vodafone statement re ACCC mobile roaming declaration inquiry

STATEMENT TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO VODAFONE CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER DAN LLOYD

We welcome the ACCC decision to consider regulating national roaming. It is entirely appropriate for the competition watchdog to ask whether national roaming would benefit regional Australia.

Australia’s huge land mass and low population density are highly unlikely to support duplicate infrastructure in many regional and rural areas. Despite this, Australia has less infrastructure-sharing and roaming than is seen in most global markets, leading to a telecommunications divide which is disadvantaging many Australians.

National roaming is regulated in the other western economies with large land masses and areas of low population density, namely the USA, Canada and New Zealand. There is no evidence from any of those countries that mandated national roaming has a negative impact on investment. On the contrary, it would see competitors contribute to and subsidise increased investment in regional Australia through payments for roaming.

Alongside the inquiry, the industry has the opportunity to put in place commercial arrangements that will benefit regional Australia.

We look forward to contributing to this vitally important process.