International Trade Law Implications of Australia's National Broadband Network
43 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2011 Last revised: 3 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 3, 2011
Australia’s National Broadband Network has come under intense domestic scrutiny and is also being closely monitored by international stakeholders. However, the focus on local political and legal issues obscures a broader potential problem: ensuring compliance with Australia’s obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements and bilateral trade arrangements. In an attempt to reveal the nuances of international trade law and its relationship to the government’s plans, this article highlights several areas of possible complication, including the creation of NBN Co as a government business enterprise, the identification of points of interconnection to NBN Co’s network, and the policy goal of achieving uniform national wholesale pricing for NBN Co’s services. International trade law deserves greater consideration and transparency in the implementation of Australia’s National Broadband Network, which may also offer lessons for other countries pursuing analogous projects.
Keywords: telecommunications, WTO, broadband, NBN, GATS, international trade law, services trade
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation