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Press Release -- September 27th, 2023
Source: commpete

Commpete chair Michelle Lim to step down

Sydney, 28 September 2023 – Commpete, Australia’s leading alliance for competition in digital communications, today announced its chairperson, Michelle Lim, will step down from her position after six years leading the advocacy group and its growth since its launch.

Commpete will seek a new chairperson who will be elected following an extraordinary general meeting to be held later this year. Ms. Lim will remain in a consultative role during the transition working closely with Commpete’s public officer Jamie Morse, secretary Fionola O’Keeffe, and Commpete’s representative committee.

Ms. Lim’s departure comes on the heels of major breakthroughs for Commpete and Australia’s telecoms industry. These include the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision to uphold the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) rejection of Telstra and TPG’s proposed mobile spectrum merger in Australia’s regional and rural areas, which would have handed a dominant provider control over mobile pricing, service availability, and service standards in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

The organisation also recently welcomed a revised stance proposed by NBN Co on achieving a commercial grade credit rating, which represented a significant improvement on previous Special Access Undertaking (SAU) proposals by the national broadband wholesaler.

Ms. Lim will also step down from her roles at Symbio and Communications Alliance to take some time out to focus on closing out some personal projects and travel before her oldest commences his high school placement next year.

Reflecting on her tenure, she said: “Commpete has made momentous ground in recent months. I couldn’t be prouder of the work the team has tirelessly done throughout the last six years, culminating this year with anticompetitive proposals thwarted, marathon inquiries completed, and new technologies which can improve competition starting to flourish,” she said.

“There is much still to be done of course, but I’ve no doubt the organisation will continue to successfully promote and protect pro-competition policies and drive regulatory reform in Australia’s telecoms markets, while also creating opportunities for smaller and challenger companies to deliver value and innovation for the nation’s households and businesses.”

Looking ahead, Commpete has charted two key priorities for the remainder of the year, centring on wholesale mobile access and satellite communications to support Australia’s regional communities.

  1. Commpete will advocate for the continuation of the declared termination services and associated mandated pricing, which is essential to ensure network operators can interconnect their networks without the risk of dominant providers refusing to supply services or engaging in predatory pricing. Recent public inquiries have clearly shown the risk of predatory pricing for consumers, and the ACCC should not remove the declaration in their upcoming draft decision.
  2. The organisation has embraced low earth orbit satellites (LEOs) such as Starlink, which can significantly tackle the high barriers to entry in deploying infrastructure to underserved regional and rural Australia. This leapfrog technology is improving competition options where it is needed most and should accompany, not replace, terrestrial mobile services. Commpete commends the attention the government is providing in assessing LEOs and encourages wholesale level arrangements for LEOs to develop local support capabilities for people and businesses in the regions.

“On behalf of all Commpete’s member organisations, we’d like to thank Michelle for her exceptional contribution to breaking through competitive barriers in Australia’s telecoms industry and helping drive solid outcomes in recent reforms.” said Commpete in a statement.

“From the rapid surge in over-the-top (OTT) platforms, AI and deployments of satellite communications, the opportunities for greater competition, new product development and connectivity across Australia have never been better. But history reminds us that without advocacy and careful consideration, our telecoms journey can be left in the hands of too few large providers that are drawn towards price gouging and innovative stagnation. Commpete will work and advocate for competition, fairness, and innovation to be put front and centre in the decisions that will shape our digital economy.”

# ENDS #

About Commpete

Commpete is Australia’s leading alliance proudly representing non-dominant providers of digital communications for retail and wholesale customers. Commpete provides a united and credible voice on pro-competition policy. Our vision is to encourage an open access regime with equal, timely access to consumers and business. Our goals are to ensure a market framework where strong independent challengers grow to occupy 30% market share and where new entrants can enter and thrive. We believe a diversity of both smaller and larger industry participants will deliver the best flexibility, value and choice for consumers and businesses in Australia.

Media Contact

Oisín O’Callaghan

Watterson (for Commpete)


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