NBN Co again revises special access undertaking

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NBN Co again revises special access undertaking

Aligns with ISP feedback.

NBN Co has quietly revised the text of its special access undertaking to bring it into line with feedback gathered from ISPs between September and November this year.

The network operator lodged the new undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on December 18, withdrawing the previous version that was lodged on September 28.

Regulatory affairs and industry engagement principal, Caroline Lovell, said in a letter (pdf) that NBN Co had concluded a "year long" contract development process for the separate wholesale broadband agreement on November 30, which had led to several key changes.

"This ... process has involved extensive multilateral and bilateral consultation between NBN Co and its customers and has facilitated the substantial development and improvement of the [wholesale broadband agreement," Lovell wrote.

She said the negotiated changes meant that "some of the non-price related terms and conditions" in the access undertaking were "now out of alignment" with the wholesale agreement, necessitating a redraft of the latter document.

She noted the changes fell in ISP's favour and said that incorporating them into the undertaking would "result in improved and clearer terms for customers and end users".

NBN Co updated its website with the amended undertaking, as did the ACCC, which included a marked-up version of the undertaking that showed where changes had been made. (pdf)

The changes include clarification of the operation of service levels, and of intent relating to terms such as mandated product withdrawal rules, which came under ACCC scrutiny earlier this month.

NBN Co submitted its initial special access undertaking to the ACCC in December 2011. That was withdrawn on September 11, 2012, and a revision submitted September 28. This week's withdrawal of that undertaking and resubmission marks the third version of the document to come before the ACCC.

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