No reporting rules for dark fibre, NBN aggregation providers

16 May 2019

The ACCC will not require dark fibre and NBN wholesale aggregation service providers to regularly provide it with pricing and supply data.

The services in question create more choice for consumers, by helping retail service providers (RSPs) deliver NBN to retail customers and by providing smaller RSPs with wholesale NBN access.

In February 2019, the ACCC launched a public consultation on proposed record-keeping rules, which would have required providers of dark fibre and NBN wholesale aggregation services to record information about supply and pricing and provide it to the ACCC in quarterly reports.

This measure was proposed after concerns raised about the availability and level of competition in the relevant markets during the ACCC’s Communications Market Study.

The ACCC considers that competition in the market for NBN aggregation services is developing as the NBN rollout continues, and that this has largely addressed customer concerns.

“We have seen significant recent developments in this market, including the entry of more providers, a bigger variety of products, and more reliable passing through of NBN price discounts and product launches to wholesale customers,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

The ACCC has also observed that alternatives to dark fibre and NBN aggregation services are increasingly available. Investment in the domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS) has boosted access to backhaul at competitive prices, and NBN Co’s NNI Link product also allows service providers to directly access NBN services.

“We will continue to monitor these markets as the NBN rollout progresses, and will reconsider the issue if we see competition diminishing,” Ms Cifuentes said.

Further information on the ACCC consultation is available at Dark Fibre and NBN Wholesale Aggregation Record Keeping Rules

Background

The ACCC’s proposed record keeping rules would have required eligible service providers to record information and provide the ACCC with quarterly reports on wholesale supply and pricing of dark fibre and NBN wholesale aggregation services.

Dark fibre refers to “unlit fibre optical cable”. This fibre is used for transmission services which allow large volumes of traffic to be carried from one point to another. Dark fibre is used by some service providers to supply retail voice and broadband services to consumers.

NBN wholesale aggregation services involve the supply by a service provider of NBN wholesale access services in conjunction with a service provider’s wholesale transmission services (such as voice, video and internet). NBN aggregation services are used by smaller RSPs without the scale to make a direct NBN connection to supply retail NBN services to consumers.

Release number: 
71/19
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