The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking comment on what constitutes discriminatory behaviour by NBN Co and other super-fast network broadband operators once the National Broadband Network (NBN) goes live.
The ACCC has launched a paper and public consultation to seek guidance from industry and related stakeholders on the issue. The group is in charge of ensuring network operators do not engage in anti-competitive behaviour.
Under legislation pertaining to the NBN, NBN Co and high-speed broadband operators must not discriminate against access seekers unless there are “reasonable grounds to believe an access seeker would fail to comply with terms and conditions on which the service provider complies with a relevant obligation”.
Access seekers refer to wholesale customers, namely ISPs, of broadband networks.
These measures are in place to prevent anti-competitive behaviour which has long plagued the telco industry thanks to the vertically integrated nature of Telstra. The telco is expected to structurally separate its wholesale and retail business provided it gains shareholders approval.
NBN Co is obliged to only provide wholesale-only Layer 2 bitstream products.
The ACCC is interested to hear suggestions on what it should consider when trying to determine whether NBN Co or a high-speed network provider has discriminated against access seekers, what is to be considered “reasonable grounds” to reject access seekers and how to enforce non-discrimination provisions.
Submission to the public consultation is due by August 8.