Businesses to get 170-day delay before NBN special services migration

Businesses to get 170-day delay before NBN special services migration

ACCC approves Telstra’s proposal without TPG and Vocus support

Credit: NBN Co

Businesses with legacy special services will be granted an extra 170 days before migrating voice and broadband services to the national broadband network (NBN).

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has agreed to the telco's bid to allow businesses more time to migrate their copper and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) networks to the NBN should they place an order before 12 November. 

Those that don’t will be ineligible for the 170-day deferment but will have until 29 January next year before disconnection of services begins.

“The ACCC strongly encourages all special service customers with a 12 November 2018 disconnection date to place an order for migration to the NBN before this date to take advantage of these new ITO [in train order] arrangements and avoid the possibility of unintended disconnections to their services,” ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

NBN Co, the company behind the NBN roll-out, has been calling on business for some time to migrate these services ahead of the first disconnections next month.

As an incentive for businesses to migrate sooner, the company agreed to credit a $270 “subsequent installation fee” previously passed on to phone and internet providers for business customers migrating their special services over fibre-to-the-node (FttN) and fibre-to-the-building (FttB) technology to a separate line on the NBN.

Special services are business-grade services used for critical purposes other than standard landline phone or internet services.

On 10 September this year, Telstra submitted a proposed variation to the NBN Migration Plan to the ACCC, to allow businesses the chance to delay their disconnections among other changes.

This followed the telco receiving regulatory clearance from the ACCC. These included extending ITO arrangements for residential services and disconnections arrangements for premises with registered fire alarms and lift phones.

The ACCC received submissions from seven other telecommunications provider regarding Telstra's changes proposal, including Commpete, Exetel, Macquarie Telecom, NBN Co, Optus, TPG and Vocus.

Commpete, Macquarie Telecom, NBN Co and Optus all supported Telstra's submission, however TPG raised concerns and Vocus was against it.

"TPG considers there is a high likelihood of business customers being stranded without service on the SSDD [Special Services Disconnection Date] because NBN Co has not put in place products that meet the requirements of business customers," the TPG submission stated.

Vocus said it did not support Telstra's proposal as it would delay the commencement of disconnection activity.

"Vocus submits delaying the commencement of disconnection activity for TSS is not consistent with the general principle of ensuring the efficient and timely disconnection of carriage services from the separating network," the publicly-listed telco's submission stated.

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