Watch the progress of Megaport.
TPG Telecom (owner of PIPE Networks) claims that PIPE’s customers are not “occupiers” of the data centre and accordingly Megaport cannot use its statutory powers under Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 to provide services to them. If accepted, this argument would mean that PIPE’s data centres could become “competition-free zones”, and TPG can (and evidently will) prevent PIPE’s telehousing customers from ordering services from competitive carriers such as Megaport. It could also raise issues for TPG/PIPE who have possibly issued hundreds of LAAN’s to other third party data centre facilities for the delivery of services into their facilities.
We understand TPG recently decided not to renew the commercial arrangement it had with another competing carrier that had previously acquired colocation space from TPG/PIPE and was providing competing services to TPG clients within these facilities. This reinforces the reason for these statutory powers and our decision to use them.
These are the same powers TPG/PIPE is believed to be using to obtain access to multi- tenanted dwelling units (MDU’s) to deploy its FttB network. Regardless we view TPG/PIPE’s objection as without merit and preventing PIPE’s customers from acquiring telecommunications services from a competitor of PIPE. At TPG’s request the matter has now been referred to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for determination.
In a similar vein, Megaport today also referred the refusal of PIPE Networks and Soul (another carrier within the TPG Telecom group) to provide Megaport with information about their underground duct facilities as required by Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (which governs Facilities Access) to the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) for investigation.
These developments are disappointing and should be a cause for concern not only for TPG/PIPE Networks colocation customers, but also AAPT customers considering TPG’s pending acquisition of AAPT. It also raises alarm for the industry. AAPT and PIPE are the leading providers of infrastructure-based competitive wholesale services in the Australian market.
In order to avoid causing further inconvenience to our customers, we have suspended accepting new orders for services in PIPE Networks’ data centres until such time as the current impasse with PIPE/TPG is resolved. The TIO is currently considering PIPE’s objection and this process may take several months to complete.
Founder and CEO