Publication of NBN Co’s Wholesale Broadband Agreement delayed

3 Oct 2011

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reporting that NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of the National Broadband Network (NBN), is seeking further comments on a revised draft of its Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA). News that the regulator has extended consultation comes on the back of concerns raised over access to NBN services for third parties. Both the regulator and other figures in the telecoms sector had raised doubts about the timeframes within which NBN Co was seeking execution of the WBA by access seekers; a particular concern was that the agreement potentially allowed for only limited ACCC oversight of the terms and conditions of access to NBN Co’s services. Commenting on the matter, Rod Sims, ACCC chairman noted: ‘The NBN will be a national, wholesale-only, fixed line network monopoly. As the interests of monopolies and consumers are not always the same, it is necessary that there is a robust regulatory regime in place to address excessive prices and ensure fair access to the network.’

On the back of delaying the formal publication of NBN Co’s WBA, the company has also reportedly extended its current trial agreements until 30 November 2011.