On 25 August 2020, amendments to the Telecommunications Act 1997 came into effect that enable superfast fixed line broadband networks serving residential customers to operate on a functionally separated basis (rather than a structurally separated basis).
In particular, network operators are now able to voluntarily submit functional separation undertakings to the ACCC for approval. This is intended to provide greater commercial flexibility for superfast network operators and promote infrastructure-based competition.
On 2 September 2020, Uniti Group Limited (Uniti) submitted a joint functional separation undertaking and a supporting submission in accordance with section 151C of the Telecommunications Act.
Under section 151G of the Telecommunications Act, the ACCC is required to undertake consultation for a period of no less than 15 business days before deciding whether to accept or reject a joint functional separation undertaking.
On 9 September 2020, the ACCC issued a consultation paper seeking comments from interested stakeholders on Uniti's undertaking. Submissions closed 30 September 2020. The ACCC only received one formal submission, which was provided by a member of the public supporting the acceptance of the undertaking.
On 21 October 2020, the ACCC accepted Uniti's joint functional separation undertaking. A media update is available on the ACCC's website at: ACCC accepts joint functional separation undertaking from Uniti Group
The undertaking is available on the ACCC's public register at: Functional separation undertakings register.