While a number of Australia’s internet service providers (ISPs) continue to hold out on finalising wholesale broadband agreements (WBA)with NBN Co, the public-private company overseeing the construction and management of the National Broadband Network (NBN), it has been announced that iiNet has joined Primus in inking a deal with the company. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the respective agreements between NBN Co and iiNet and NBN Co and Primus mean that the two ISPs will be able to continue signing up new customers to services offered over the in-deployment NBN once trial arrangements come to an end tomorrow.
While there was reported to have been some consternation over some of the terms that NBN Co had presented to would-be partners, it is understood that the public-private company offered a revised agreement to companies this morning with improved indemnity provisions. Such changes are understood to have prompted the change of heart in signing up from both Primus and iiNet, with Steve Dalby, the latter’s chief regulatory officer, noting: ‘After negotiations with NBN Co, final changes to the WBA resolved earlier key sticking points, in particular: issues relating to appropriate sharing of risk and liability resulting from use of the network … We welcome NBN Co’s changes to the original WBA as a sensible and positive approach. Our product development, testing and marketing will continue uninterrupted, which is a very positive outcome for NBN Co, iiNet and, most importantly, our new NBN customers.’
Earlier this week NBN Co confirmed that those carriers which refused to sign commercial agreements would not be allowed to sign up new customers and could only continue trial arrangements. Operators meanwhile were reported to be unhappy with the terms of the WBA as they believed the commercial agreement offered left them exposed to liability in case of network failures.