Symbio Steps up to Bat for 'Challenger' RSPs Thursday 26 October 2017 @ 11:08

Symbio Networks CEO, Rene Sugo, has warned that the NBN policy settings need to be amended or innovation and competition will be stifled in the Australian telco industry. Currently the big 4 telcos control 94% of the NBN market share, which leaves the remaining 168 registered RSPs with only 6% between them.

Addressing the CommsDay summit in Melbourne earlier this month, Sugo emphasised that instead of creating competition for RSPs, the NBN has only concentrated the market further. The evidence was showing that the current pricing model was allowing incumbent Retail Service Providers to muscle out the ‘Challenger’ Retail Internet Service Providers (CRISPs).

“The irony surely has to be that out of the 172 RSPs, 4 of them have 94% market share, or to put it another way, 98% of the retailers have just 6% share of the market,” Sugo said.


With 121 points of interconnect required to become an NBN carrier and mounting CVC costs, it’s nearly impossible for smaller players to challenge the big 4 on a level playing field.

Without direct access to the NBN network, the majority of CRISPs are left at the mercy of an aggregator, constrained by their IT systems, their backhaul and their quality metrics. And unlike Symbio, who is a purely wholesale provider, the big 4 prioritise their retail interests over wholesale.

Sugo warned that if we stub these smaller players out, we risk losing the innovative spirit that comes with them.

“What about those new entrants who come from a different perspective – small, agile start-ups who may have an innovative idea and want to test the market? How do these guys get started in the NBN race? I can tell you a lot of them don’t,” he said.

Symbio will continue to stand as an advocate for the small to mid-sized segment of the telecommunications industry and represent the interests of our wholesale customers. Stay tuned for more NBN updates.