The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is asking telecommunication companies for feedback on the information that NBN Co should disclose about the rollout of its network.
“This consultation is designed to increase transparency around the network rollout and ensure all telco service providers are equally informed of important developments,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
Under the new ‘multi-technology mix’ model for the NBN, Telstra will work closely with NBN Co in the planning, design and construction of the network. As a result, Telstra will have access to sensitive information about the rollout, including on progress towards milestones and the technology mix that will be used in particular areas.
“The Government has proposed requiring NBN Co to make information available to all so that service providers are on an equal footing. This should help prevent Telstra getting any special advantage as a result of its involvement with the rollout,” Ms Cifuentes said.
The ACCC has released a discussion paper asking interested parties about what information NBN Co should disclose, how it should be disclosed and at what level of detail. Also under consideration is how frequently information should be released and how it should be kept up to date.
Submissions are due by Friday 24 April 2015. The ACCC may also hold a face-to-face industry forum if enough parties express interest in participating. Further details are set out in the ACCC’s discussion paper.
The Department of Communications has asked the ACCC to consult with industry as part of developing a new carrier licence condition for NBN Co. The Department has stated that the overarching object of the licence condition is to ensure symmetry between Telstra and all other retail service providers in respect of relevant NBN-rollout and related information. This will ensure that Telstra does not have any actual or perceived information advantage by virtue of its role as the owner of the copper and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) networks being acquired by NBN Co.
The Minister for Communications has stated that Telstra and NBN Co’s handling of information is critical to ensuring the competition objectives of the Government’s NBN reforms are realised. To ensure that Telstra does not have any actual or perceived information advantage from the information it receives from NBN Co, the Government has proposed imposing a licence condition on NBN Co.
The discussion paper includes material contributed by NBN Co. The ACCC was awaiting receipt of this material prior to commencing the consultation.
See also: Information disclosure by NBN Co