Tuesday, 19 November 2019 09:46

NBN Co says no need for any ACCC intervention in service standards Featured

NBN Co says no need for any ACCC intervention in service standards Pixabay

The NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's broadband network, has questioned the need for any regulatory intervention into its wholesale service standards at this time as, in its view, the ACCC's draft decision on these aspects had not provided any evidence of market failure.

In a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, following the release of the draft decision on 1 October, the NBN Co said in addition, the ACCC had not made any analysis of the outcomes that would follow an intervention, compared to either non-intervention or a less intrusive form of intervention.

The company said, on the other hand, there was "strong evidence" that intervention was unnecessary and this was proven by the following:

  • "NBN Co has engaged in proper commercial negotiations with access seekers in relation to each wholesale broadband agreement;
  • "WBA4 negotiations remain the most appropriate vehicle for NBN Co and access seekers to develop commercially appropriate initiatives to respond to the concerns that have been raised during the NBN Co wholesale service standards inquiry;
  • "any FAD will not have any effect to the extent of any inconsistency with NBN Co's existing access agreements, which apply until 30 November 2020;
  • "NBN Co, as a vertically separated wholesaler has very different incentives when compared with the vertically integrated incumbents that have historically been subject to regulation in fixed line telecommunications markets; and
  • "these significant commercial incentives drive NBN Co to improve customer experience on the NBN network, and NBN Co has consistently responded to those incentives to deliver such improvements."

In its draft determination, the watchdog had suggested a reworked rebate structure, increasing rebates for missed appointments, late connections and unresolved faults, with the rebates to be applied on a daily basis, and not as a one-off payment.

Further, NBN Co claimed any draft final access determination based on the draft decision would not be in the long-term interests of end users, and could affect these interests negatively.

The high rebates proposed in the draft determination could mean resources were diverted to areas that did not reflect customer priorities, the company said, adding resources could also be diverted from areas that were responsive to market needs.

NBN Co also cited a number of other reasons to back up its claim.

It said the the long-term interests of end users could be best served by the ACCC not making any final access determination.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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