The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today published a consultation paper inviting submissions on NBN Co’s revised variation to its Special Access Undertaking (SAU). NBN Co withdrew its original SAU variation and submitted a revised SAU variation in June 2017.
The main purpose of the revised variation is to incorporate fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies into the SAU, to reflect the current NBN model. Among other things, this has the effect of extending the current NBN pricing structure to these technologies.
NBN Co’s revised variation includes amended terms that respond to non-price matters raised by stakeholders in the consultation on the previous variation and set out in the ACCC’s draft decision. It has also provided a new submission in support of its variation, which deals more directly with some of the statements made during the previous consultation regarding pricing.
“Many aspects of NBN Co’s variation are unchanged, so we’ll continue to take the feedback we’ve already received from stakeholders into account when considering these provisions,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
“We are aware that NBN Co is also currently consulting with its customers on aspects of its wholesale pricing. We welcome this development.”
The consultation paper focuses on the key non-price changes between the previous SAU variation and the revised SAU variation which include the:
- reinstatement of the ‘Network Boundary Point’ definition
- removal of the term ‘other telecommunications network’ from the definition of ‘NBN Co Network’
- refinement of the ‘co-existence’ and ‘remediation’ clauses and limiting the period in which the provisions apply to module 1 of the SAU.
It also seeks views on NBN Co’s submissions in support of the SAU price terms.
The closing date for submissions on NBN Co’s revised variation is 25 August 2017.
The ACCC consultation paper, NBN Co’s revised variation to its Special Access Undertaking, and related documentation are available on the ACCC website here: NBN Co Revised SAU Variation
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) allows NBN Co to submit to the ACCC a variation to a SAU currently in operation. The ACCC must then decide whether to accept or reject the SAU variation, in accordance with the criteria set out in Part XIC of the CCA. Broadly, the ACCC must not accept the variation unless it is satisfied that the varied SAU terms would promote the long-term interests of end-users and are reasonable.
The current SAU accepted by the ACCC in 2013, only covers fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), fixed wireless, and satellite technologies.
On 27 May 2016, NBN Co submitted its original SAU variation to the ACCC.
In March 2017, the ACCC issued its draft decision to reject the original SAU variation on the basis that a number of the proposed changes would not promote the long-term interests of end users and are not reasonable. The ACCC considered that minor amendments to the proposed changes could be made to address its concerns.
On 22 June 2017 NBN Co withdrew its original SAU variation and simultaneously lodged a revised SAU variation together with a supporting submission to the ACCC.
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