ACCC begins consulting on nbn’s most recent SAU variation proposals

3 Aug 2017

A consultation paper has been published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inviting submissions on a revised variation to nbn’s Special Access Undertaking (SAU). The company, which is overseeing the construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN), submitted its most recent revised SAU variation proposal in June 2017, with the regulator noting that its main purpose is to incorporate fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) and HFC technologies into the undertaking, so as to reflect the current NBN model and extend the existing pricing structure to these technologies. The current SAU, which was accepted by the ACCC in 2013, only covers fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), fixed wireless, and satellite technologies.

In launching the consultation, the ACCC noted that nbn’s most recent variation proposal includes ‘amended terms that respond to non-price matters raised by stakeholders in the consultation on the previous variation and set out in the [regulator’s] draft decision’. Further, nbn is also said to have provided a new submission in support of its variation, which deals more directly with some of the statements made during the previous consultation regarding pricing.

With a closing date of 25 August 2017 set for submissions to the consultation, ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said of the matter: ‘Many aspects of [nbn’s] variation are unchanged, so we’ll continue to take the feedback we’ve already received from stakeholders into account when considering these provisions … We are aware that [nbn] is also currently consulting with its customers on aspects of its wholesale pricing. We welcome this development.’