The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking feedback on its consultation paper which explores nbn’s proposed variation to its Special Access Undertaking.

The Special Access Undertaking is a key part of the nbn’s regulatory framework for governing prices and other terms upon which it will supply services over the NBN to retailers until 2040.

nbn lodged a proposed variation to the undertaking with the ACCC on 27 May 2016.

The consultation paper describes the main changes nbn is seeking to make to the undertaking and outlines other key issues on which the ACCC is seeking feedback.

The main proposed changes to the undertaking are to incorporate fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies (HFC) into the undertaking.

nbn proposes to:

  • Expand the service description to reflect the additional technologies
  • Add new clauses to address specific matters relating to FTTN and FTTB services during the NBN rollout
  • Change the nature and extent of commitments to report rollout progress information.

ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said, “The ACCC is especially interested in receiving feedback on industry’s experience in accessing and re-supplying NBN services to date.

“Changes to the Special Access Undertaking are needed to accommodate services under the multi-technology NBN model.

“We want to be sure the commitments in the undertaking continue to promote competition in NBN markets and remain in the long-term interests of consumers.”

The ACCC must decide whether to accept or reject the variation to the Special Access Undertaking in accordance with the criteria set out in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Stakeholder comments will be important for the ACCC when considering whether the proposed variations to the undertaking meet the legislative requirements.

The closing date for submissions on nbn’s proposed variation is 26 August 2016.

The ACCC consultation paper, nbn’s proposed variation to its Special Access Undertaking, and related documentation are available on the ACCC website.

Lauren Cella

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