ACCC gives nod to NBN Co’s SAU changes

1 Aug 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reportedly accepted the majority of changes made by NBN Co to it Special Access Undertaking (SAU), the document that sets out the terms of access to the in-deployment fibre element of the National Broadband Network (NBN) over the life of the operator’s 30-year corporate plan. According to the Australian Financial Review, having released NBN Co’s submission, ACCC chairman Rod Sims noted that he would now begin negotiations with operators over any potential concerns, saying: ‘I was hopeful we could get this done in the next two weeks but we got more bulky material than I expected … We’d like to get it done before an election.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2013 NBN Co submitted a number of proposed changes to the SAU, having lodged a revised version of the document back in September 2012. At that date NBN Co revealed it would make a number of further changes to the SAU, including the introduction of an Integrated Price Review Mechanism; this will give the ACCC powers over new product pricing and price rebalancing, while also allowing the regulator to initiate a price review at any time. While a number of the country’s established telcos reportedly welcomed the revised proposals, questions were, however, raised over whether there were still enough measures in the SAU to ensure that NBN Co products and pricing are fair to those retailers offering services over the NBN.