ACCC likely to press ahead with examination of NBN’s SAU

30 Sep 2013

Despite suggestions last week that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) would hold fire with regards to whether to proceed with the Special Access Undertaking (SAU) for the National Broadband Network (NBN), the regulator’s chairman has been cited as saying it will move the process forward. According to ZDNet Australia, ACCC head Rod Sims confirmed at a speech that the watchdog is preparing to issue a notice to NBN Co – the public-private company overseeing the NBN project – which outlines additional changes needing to be made to the SAU before a decision is made on whether to accept or reject the document. In particular, the report notes that Mr Sims had said the ACCC is seeking to ‘rebalance’ the controversial connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charges if the cost for capacity on the NBN becomes ‘inappropriate over time’.

In outlining the reasoning behind continuing to examine the matter, the executive was cited as saying: ‘Settling the SAU will provide access seekers the certainty they seek, even if the new government’s policies require consequential changes at a later stage.’ Despite the apparent volte-face suggested by its head, a spokesman for the ACCC said: ‘The ACCC is still reviewing whether there is any impact on the NBN SAU process as a consequence of the change in government.’