Retail scrap for NBN services to get clearer

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Retail scrap for NBN services to get clearer

More providers outside big four to have service numbers revealed.

The makeup of the NBN retail market will become a little more transparent as the ACCC prepares to reveal a longer list of internet providers and the number of active services they have.

Following industry consultation last year, the competition watchdog has revealed it will tweak its closely-watched ‘NBN wholesale market indicators report’.

The main change is that individual RSPs with one percent or more NBN market share will now be broken out of a previously aggregated “other” category.

The report only currently shows the number of services that the top four - Telstra, Optus, TPG and Vocus - operate on a quarterly basis.

The rest of the RSPs - around 172 at last count - are aggregated into an “other” category, which provides little visibility of how competition outside the big players is developing.

It may be that it isn’t: mid-sized RSPs recognised years ago that size would matter in an NBN world, and iTnews’ analysis of RSPs’ financial reports indicates the big four are maintaining an 87 percent share of all services.

The latest ACCC report indicates the challengers have around 137,000 services between them across all NBN access technologies.

The ACCC said it had received no complaints from smaller RSPs that were likely to now be included in the report.

“Lowering the threshold to one percent market share for each technology type means that several more NBN access seeker groups will be reported, but smaller NBN access seeker groups will continue to be reported under the ‘other access seekers’ grouping,” it said.

Other changes to the report include more granular disclosure of “AVC and CVC information on a POI by POI basis”.

Currently the report only provides aggregated numbers. It would still not be possible to identify how much CVC an individual RSP was buying - hence few complaints from industry on the ACCC proposal; NBN Co was the only one to raise concerns.

Aussie Broadband this month became the first RSP to start publishing its CVC purchases on a POI by POI basis.

A third change will see aggregated CVC numbers broken out properly on a state-by-state basis.

The report at the moment has odd groupings including NSW/ACT, SA/NT and VIC/TAS.

“The original state grouping categorisation related to the operation of the five interim POIs, but since these now only account for a very small number of NBN services, the rationale for state groupings is significantly reduced,” the ACCC said.

The competition watchdog did back down on a proposal to publish more detailed CVC information, agreeing with RSPs that it could be misinterpreted.

The utility of extra data may be arguable now regardless, with NBN Co’s new pricing model largely alleviating the long-running issues around CVC.

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