Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:56

ACCC seeks feedback on NBN special access undertaking

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking market feedback on a revised variation to the Special Access Undertaking governing NBN Co, the operators of the national broadband network.

The ACCC has just published a consultation paper inviting submissions on the SAU after NBN Co withdrew its original SAU variation and submitted a revised variation in June.

The main purpose of the revised variation is to incorporate fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies into the SAU, to reflect the current NBN model, which has the effect of extending the current NBN pricing structure to these technologies.

The current SAU accepted by the ACCC in 2013, only covers fibre-to-the-premises, fixed wireless, and satellite technologies.

NBN Co’s revised variation includes amended terms that respond to non-price matters raised by stakeholders in the consultation on the previous variation and set out in the ACCC’s draft decision.

The NBN operator has also provided a new submission in support of its variation, which deals more directly with some of the statements made during the previous consultation regarding pricing.

“Many aspects of NBN Co’s variation are unchanged, so we’ll continue to take the feedback we’ve already received from stakeholders into account when considering these provisions,” ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

“We are aware that NBN Co is also currently consulting with its customers on aspects of its wholesale pricing. We welcome this development.”

The consultation paper issued by the ACCC focuses on the key non-price changes between the previous SAU variation and the revised SAU variation which include the:

  •     Reinstatement of the ‘Network Boundary Point’ definition.
  •     Removal of the term ‘other telecommunications network’ from the definition of ‘NBN Co Network’.
  •     Refinement of the ‘co-existence’ and ‘remediation’ clauses and limiting the period in which the provisions apply to module 1 of the SAU.

It also seeks views on NBN Co’s submissions in support of the SAU price terms, with submissions due by the closing date of 25 August.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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