Thursday, July 7, 2022

ACCC Publishes NBN Co’s Proposed Variation To Its Special Access Undertaking

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The ACCC has published NBN Co’s proposed variation to its Special Access Undertaking setting the maximum prices, terms and conditions for broadband providers to access the NBN until 2040.

The variation published today proposes significant changes to product and pricing commitments, the framework for NBN Co’s cost recovery, and rules for how the ACCC assesses network expenditure.

The ACCC has invited interested stakeholders to comment on the proposed variation by 8 July 2022

ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said the Special Access Undertaking exists to promote competition and efficiency in Australia’s broadband market, to the benefit of households and businesses,”

“The variation will influence the price, quality and range of broadband offers in the market for the next two decades. Before we decide whether to accept NBN Co’s proposed variation, we are conducting a public consultation to hear from the retailers who sell NBN services, other service providers, and households and businesses that rely on the NBN for their broadband.”

The variation also seeks to incorporate fibre-to-the-node and other copper-based technologies in the Special Access Undertaking, to create a single regulatory framework that covers all network technologies.

The ACCC has published the full variation for consultation and one set of supporting materials provided by NBN Co with a small number of redactions that the ACCC has accepted. Further supporting materials are to be published as soon as practicable. This is to ensure a transparent and effective public consultation process..

NBN Co aims to amend the SAU to include fiber-to-the-node and other copper-based technologies in order to create a unified regulatory framework for all technologies.

The SAU variation also includes significant changes to other key elements of the SAU, including product and pricing commitments, NBN Co’s cost recovery framework, and rules for the ACCC’s assessment of network spend.

The current SAU provides a long-term regulatory framework for the provision of NBN Co. It has been in operation since 2013 and is expected to operate until 2040 however, it only applies to a subset of network technologies, namely fibre-to-the-premises, fixed wireless and satellite

In June 2021 the ACCC hosted an industry workshop to help inform NBN Co’s development of a revised Special Access Commitment that applies to all network technologies.

In the second half of 2021 working groups run by the ACCC provided NBN Co, access seekers, retail service providers and other interested parties with the opportunity to share their ideas while the proposed SAU variation was under development.

The ACCC must assess any application for a variation to the SAU in accordance with the statutory criteria in Part XIC of the CCA. The ACCC must either accept or reject the SAU variation based on this assessment.

The NBN’s future is under threat from new wireless broadband technologies and regional customers demanding better service quality and pricing models.

The SAU variation and related documents are available here.

The TBN team is a well establish group of technology industry professionals with backgrounds in IT Systems, Business Communications and Journalism.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
The TBN team is a well establish group of technology industry professionals with backgrounds in IT Systems, Business Communications and Journalism.

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