NBN Co and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, have welcomed the ACCC’s proposed changes to the Special Access Undertaking (SAU).
NBN Co stated the draft decision paper set out a clear path towards a final SAU and offered certainty for the industry.
NBN Co head of regulatory affairs and industry analysis, Caroline Lovell, said it appreciated the ACCC’s challenging task in balancing the views of a range of stakeholders in order to achieve a framework that is in the long-term interests of end users.
“We will continue to engage with industry and the ACCC as the remaining issues are resolved to ensure that an appropriate balance is achieved,” Lovell said. “Importantly, the draft decision indicates the ACCC is minded to accept fundamental elements of the Special Access Undertaking.”
“At the same time, the ACCC identifies the last remaining issues for refinement, and potential solutions in respect of these issues, for NBN Co to finalise the SAU.”
The ACCC had some praise and critique of the draft proposal and asked NBN Co to consider changing parts of it in relation to providing certainty about how NBN Co will comply with its obligations under the telecommunications access regimes particularly with any ACCC regulatory rulings; allowing periodic price rebalancing through an ACCC review and amendments to clarify the ACCC can have a role in overseeing product withdrawals and new products as well as their prices.
Communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, said he welcome the ACCC’s support for NBN Co’s initial prices and its ongoing price cap that will ensure prices decrease in real terms until 2040.
“I encourage NBN Co and access seekers to engage constructively in the coming weeks to finalise the SAU,” Conroy said. “The Commission’s draft decision clearly demonstrates that NBN Co is subject to effective regulatory oversight.
“The SAU model is exactly the type of transparency and rigour the government had in mind when the legislative framework around the National Broadband Network was established.”