TPG senior management have advised the Government that additional bandwidth will be deployed for Tasmanian customers as early as tonight.

I have once again urged TPG to ensure it obtains sufficient capacity for all its Tasmanian customers.

The cutting of the Basslink cable for repairs was an event that was expected and communicated to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) months in advance, along with the need to negotiate capacity on Telstra’s cables during the repair period. The majority of ISPs heeded this advice and made appropriate arrangements.

TasICT, the peak body for the ICT industry told ABC radio yesterday morning “The Government’s response has been completely appropriate”, “been on top of this..” and “..done a good job with this.”

The Government cannot control commercial negotiations. We have however been in constant contact with Telstra, who have reconfirmed that there is ample capacity on their cables to meet the needs of all ISPs; and with TPG, urging them to urgently negotiate a deal which will ensure Tasmanian customers aren’t left in the lurch. TPG has advised us that further capacity to that being delivered this week, has also been ordered.

Wholesale prices on the Bass Strait route are regulated by the ACCC. In light of some claims that have been made publically about pricing, I have however written to them asking them to closely monitor over the coming weeks commercial pricing Telstra has set for other ISPs to use their cables.

It is disappointing that Tasmanian customers of TPG have had disruptions to their internet service. This was entirely avoidable, however I am pleased that TPG has taken seriously the representations made by the Government on behalf of customers, and is now taking action to rectify the situation.

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