NBN Co is having to rewrite parts of a document that outlines planned changes to the rules that govern its existence through to 2040 because too much of it was claimed commercially sensitive and unpublishable.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is running the review, said today that it is obligated to publish the document in full - unredacted - for consultation.
While it received the document on March 29, it could not reach an easy agreement with NBN Co on unredacting or removing sensitive portions, meaning it has to be sent back to NBN Co for rework.
“NBN Co submitted a version of the proposed variation for publication in which information it considers to be commercially sensitive was redacted,” the ACCC said.
“However, it is essential for there to be a fully transparent and effective public consultation process, and this requires release of the proposed variation in full.”
The ACCC said it intended to publish the document in full by “no later than May 23”.
The review of the rules - which form the special access undertaking or SAU - are anticipated to result in considerable changes to NBN Co’s operations.
The ACCC declared last month that the SAU is no longer effective and that loopholes had allowed the rules to effectively be sidelined.
The delay is unlikely to impress large portions of the industry, which have grown increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of the process, which does not have a defined deadline.
Much of the industry is banking on the process to reduce the wholesale price of NBN services, introduce a simpler flat-price structure for higher-speed services, and remove variable bandwidth charges that lead to overage costs and eat into margin.