Australian regulator rejects broadband proposal

Australia's competition watchdog rejected a SingTel-led plan to build a multibillion-dollar high-speed broadband network in the country, but added it would welcome a revised proposal from the group, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in a draft decision as saying that the bid proposed by SingTel and eight other telecommunications companies did not have adequate audit mechanisms.

'The undertaking gives the network owner a high degree of discretion in unilaterally determining non-price terms and conditions for the 15-year undertaking period, without independent regulatory review,' commission chairman Graeme Samuel said in a statement.

'We could not accept so much discretion from a gas, electricity or rail firm. Access seekers would not know where they stood.'

But the regulator said it was generally comfortable with the pricing structured offered by the so-called 'G9' consortium, and that it was open to receiving a revised proposal, the report said.