ACCC seeks comment on proposed final access determination for non-NBN local bitstream access service
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has made an interim access determination (IAD) for the declared local bitstream access service (LBAS) and is seeking comment on the proposed final access determination.
The LBAS is a wholesale access service for fixed line networks that are built or upgraded after January 2011. It does not apply to the NBN or to wireless or satellite networks. The ACCC declared the LBAS in February.
The LBAS is a 'last mile' fixed line service provided to residences and small business where the download transmission rate is superfast (25 megabit per second (Mbps) or faster). The IAD contains both price and non-price terms and conditions for a wholesale non-NBN 25/5 Mbps service.
The IAD sets a price ceiling of $27 per service per month. The price in the IAD was set by benchmarking against the NBN Co wholesale broadband agreement price for a similar service. The IAD also sets out non-price terms and conditions of access to provide a base set of terms if parties cannot come to a commercial agreement.
"The ACCC's preliminary view is that the proposed benchmark pricing approach is appropriate, given the limited number of services that are currently subject to the declaration," ACCC Commissioner Ed Willett said.
The ACCC is also releasing its proposal for the final access determination (FAD) for the LBAS. The ACCC proposes to use the same approach in the FAD as it has used in the IAD. The LBAS price would be benchmarked against the regulated pricing for NBN Co, once that regulated pricing is finalised. The ACCC has also proposed that the FAD contain the same non-price terms and conditions as the IAD.
"The provisions of the IAD and the proposal for the FAD mean that there will be similar terms and conditions for access by retailers providing broadband services to consumers and small businesses irrespective of whether that is on an NBN or non-NBN network," Mr Willett said.
Due to the timing of the finalisation of NBN Co regulated pricing, the ACCC will not make the LBAS FAD within the required 6 month time period from the commencement of its public inquiry. Therefore, the ACCC is extending the public inquiry by 6 months, until 24 February 2013.
The ACCC seeks submissions from industry on its proposed approach for the FAD, particularly on:
- The appropriateness of the benchmarking pricing methodology
- The duration of the final access determination, and
- The appropriate non-price terms and conditions to be included in the FAD.
Parties with an interest in the FAD are invited to make submissions by 3 August 2012.