The agreement was announced in June 2011 at the same time as the definitive agreements between Telstra and NBN Co and between Telstra and the Government. It provided for Optus to be paid around $800m to progressively migrate its HFC customers to the NBN once the network has been rolled out in an area and is ready to provide services to customers served by Optus' HFC network.
Optus estimated the total value of the agreement at approximately $800m on a post tax net present value basis. It welcomed the draft decision in May by saying it would increase competition by enabling Optus to redirect resources from supporting the HFC network to "more effectively...open up retail competition on a single advanced network that covers the country."
However the plan came in for some strident opposition. Back in September 2011 two leading economists - professors Joshua Gans and Jerry Hausman, who hold chairs at the University of Toronto and MIT respectively - were moved to make a submission to the ACCC slamming the proposed migration of broadband customers from both the Telstra and Optus HFC networks to the NBN, claiming both decisions were significantly anticompetitive.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said "The ACCC remains of the view that the public benefits, which are clear and quantifiable, on balance outweigh the likely detriment."
However he added: "As outlined by the ACCC at the time of the draft determination, this decision is finely balanced...The ACCC took account of a substantial amount of public and confidential information in addition to submissions received from interested parties in response to the draft decision."
NBN Co said the agreement "supports the NBN's business case and confirms the network as the cornerstone of Australia's digital communications future."
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