NBN Co lodges undertaking to watchdog

 

Aims to allay industry concerns.

NBN Co has finally lodged a special access undertaking to the competition watchdog, nearly nine months after initially planned.

The voluntary submission [pdf] is intended to establish a regulatory oversight framework for the next 30 years, including price terms and the technical Layer 2 architecture.

Legislation passed in March this year provided for the opportunity to lodge an undertaking to the ACCC.

NBN Co intended to do so by September but had since continued to delay the lodging of the document and finalisation of a wholesale broadband agreement with access seekers.

The company began charging access seekers for network access since October under an interim agreement that is set to expire in January.

The wholesaler has since shortened its wholesale agreement term to one year and removed plans to increase wholesale pricing to inflation after five years.

Oversight

The special access undertaking provides the competition watchdog with powers to make judgments on the transparency and efficiency of NBN Co's dealings with access seekers.

Though not a mandatory step under current legislation, many access seekers to the network have rallied for the ACCC's oversight of the monopoly wholesaler.

Several large service providers last week sought to voice their ongoing concerns around lack of oversight on the company in discussions papers leading up to the draft document's lodgement.

The company remains confident, however, that the undertaking will be acceptable to both the ACCC and the wider market.

"We aim to create a level playing field that will foster an environment of retail service competition," NBN Co head of product development and industry engagement Jim Hassell said.

"We won't be providing retail services, so it is in our interests to attract and retain our wholesale customers."

Any changes to the undertaking during consultation with the ACCC are expected to be reflected in future versions of the wholesale agreement.

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NBN Co lodges undertaking to watchdog
Jim Hassell from NBN Co.
 
 
 
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