NBN Co lodges a revised Special Access Undertaking variation

27 June 2017

NBN Co has withdrawn its original variation to the Special Access Undertaking (SAU) which was lodged with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in May 2016. NBN Co has simultaneously lodged a revised variation to the SAU and a supporting submission which the ACCC has published today.

“NBN Co has taken a co-operative approach to the ACCC’s consultation process in respect to the original variation. The revised variation to the SAU is intended to incorporate amended terms that respond to matters raised by stakeholders in the original consultation process and which were set out in the ACCC’s draft decision,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

Key changes in the revised variation to the SAU include:

  • 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.

“Changes to the Special Access Undertaking are needed to accommodate services under the multi-technology NBN model. We want to ensure the commitments in the undertaking, including the variation, continue to promote competition in NBN markets and are in the long-term interests of consumers,” Ms Cifuentes said.

“The ACCC is now offering interested parties a further opportunity to comment on the revised variation to the SAU.”

The ACCC will shortly release a consultation paper on the revised SAU variation. Interested parties will have until 4 August 2017 to provide submissions.

Background

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.

The main purpose of the SAU variation was to incorporate new technologies such as fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC).

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.

The revised SAU variation and related documentation is available on the ACCC website: NBN Co SAU variation 2017

The original SAU variation and related documentation is available on the ACCC website: NBN Co SAU variation 

Release number: 
MR 101/17
ACCC Infocentre: 

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