a) Regulation of the local loop is often spoken of in terms of opening up of Telecom's network - which is not entirely true. It was never closed in the first place. You could always lease Telecom circuits (and indeed, the likes of Telstra, AT&T, Voda, Bloomberg, Reuters, etc) have had their own switched equipment on the network for years - decades in some cases. It was more the case of whether or not you could afford the prices Telecom were charging - which for many ISPs they could not. To me it raises the question - were Telecom prices too expensive, or are some of the wannabe Telcos simply not big enough? Probably a bit of both I would guess.
b) Where is the regulation going? Overall I think its been positive. It has certainly opened up a whole bunch of new possibilities, but is the constant raft of legislation going to be a permanent feature - or is there a point where the govt says "ok, we've done what you asked now it time for you to go and do your stuff". Regulation is a fact of life, and there isn't a single sector that isn't regulated in some way, but with telecommunications - Telecom is regulated in terms of who can own it, how much the can own, what products they can sell, who the can sell it too, what they can sell it for, what structure the company can have, and by the looks of it - what sort of bonus they can pay their GMs? I'd almost be tempted to say just nationalise them and be done with it - but I'm old enough to remember what it was like when Telecom was a govt dept (nooooooo...... ). I guess this is more a question about finding the balance between telecommunications as a business, and as a public service.
c) Just exactly what is the govts plan? At present I count no less than 5 differnet initiatives currently managed or backed by the tax payer,
- government shared network,
- various MUSH networks,
- Kordia (Orcon, etc),
the last two when placed together look........slightly dodgy? (i.e - funding your own ISP while regulating your competitors network). I know there's nothing to it but geezzzz!
anyway, just a few thoughts. cheers.