The Federal Budget should fund the non-commercial satellite and fixed-wireless National Broadband Network (NBN) services in an attempt to recover the costs of delivering broadband to uneconomic areas, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended. Following questions last week over NBN's commercial viability, the ACCC said the government could instead directly fund the satellite and fixed-wireless networks through the Budget; introduce debt-relief measures; or re-evaluate NBN's assets instead of extending the rural broadband scheme (RBS) charge to non-NBN mobile services. "We do not consider this [RBS] charge should be extended to other substitute networks in the future; indeed, we have a preference that all non-commercial services be funded directly from the Budget," the ACCC said in its Communications Sector Market Study: Draft report [PDF] published on Monday. "Given the social objectives it is required to fulfil by supplying services to uneconomic parts of Australia, and depending on future developments, the government could consider whether NBN Co should continue to be obliged to recover its full cost of investment through its prices via ... direct Budget funding arrangements for non-commercial services, debt relief measures, or an asset re-evaluation. "The latter step is consistent with that usually taken by private sector enterprises if and when business plans are not met ... our preference is for direct Budget funding, as it would be the least distortionary alternative and not serve as a means of protecting the NBN from network competition."