International Trade Law Implications of Australia's National Broadband Network

43 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2011 Last revised: 3 Aug 2011

Tania S.L. Voon

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Andrew D. Mitchell

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Date Written: August 3, 2011

Abstract

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

Voon, Tania S.L. and Mitchell, Andrew D., International Trade Law Implications of Australia's National Broadband Network (August 3, 2011). Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2011; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 549. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1871686

Tania Voon (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
Australia

Andrew D. Mitchell

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

The University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61383441098 (Phone)
+61393472392 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/staff/Andrew%20Mitchell

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