Three months after having made a preliminary ruling, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced a final access determination (FAD) for the declared local bitstream access service (LBAS), a wholesale access service for fixed line network built or upgraded after January 2011. The watchdog has confirmed that the FAD will apply for a three-year period ending 5 October 2015, while the determination contains price and non-price terms and conditions for a 25Mbps/5Mbps up/down LBAS service. A price ceiling of AUD27 (USD27.5) per month has been set for such connections, benchmarked to the NBN Co wholesale broadband agreement (WBA) price for a similar service. Further, the ACCC has confirmed that the FAD requires LBAS providers to supply a voice service if requested by an access seeker, and it is understood that the determination also contains non-price terms and conditions of access if parties cannot come to a commercial agreement.
In announcing its decision, ACCC commissioner Ed Willett was cited as saying: ‘The ACCC considers that benchmarking to the NBN Co WBA is appropriate to ensure similar terms and conditions for retail providers of broadband services, whether they acquire NBN-based services or not,’ adding: ‘With this FAD, the ACCC has sought to provide some certainty in terms and conditions for industry participants.’