ARN

Telcos escape NBN capacity reporting requirements

The new rules provide greater details about NBN services, including a finer-grained breakdown by geographic region

Australia’s competition watchdog has expanded the data set it includes in its quarterly updates on the National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale market, but has scrapped a proposal to break out the network capacity bought by individual telcos.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Reports provide a count of the number of NBN services in operation through a variety of lenses to provide transparency of the NBN market and the network’s rollout.

In December last year, the ACCC conducted a review of the operation of the NBN Disclosure Direction that forms the basis for the quarterly reports, and dictates the range of information the ACCC requests from the network’s operator, NBN Co, to inform the updates.

Now, the ACCC has released details about the latest changes to the record keeping rules for the reports, which see it revise its disclosure direction to the company behind the NBN rollout.

The revised snapshot reporting rules include eight tables setting out the number of NBN access services for each access network technology, geographic region, speed tier, traffic class, Point of Interconnection (POI) and, in some cases, NBN access seeker or access seeker group.

The report also includes information on the aggregate contracted capacity across all NBN connectivity virtual circuits (CVC) -- the capacity-based charged levied on resellers of the network -- and the number of NBN access seekers at each NBN POI.

During its consultation with the local telco industry on the new report revisions, the ACCC had proposed the publication of additional CVC-related information, including average CVC to AVC ratio for NBN access seekers and more detailed information about CVC utilisation.

However, submissions from Telstra, Optus, NBN Co and Communications Alliance indicated that, due to differences in how NBN access seekers acquired and provisioned CVC across their NBN services, such information might be misinterpreted if published.

“The ACCC considered stakeholder submissions on these matters and, on balance, decided not to proceed with the additional disclosure of CVC utilisation at this point in time because of the sensitivity of the information and potential for misinterpretation of the different CVC provisioning levels between NBN access seekers,” the explanatory memorandum of the new record keeping rules stated.

That said, the ACCC did concede it will continue to internally monitor and analyse the confidential CVC utilisation information that NBN Co reports under the reporting rules.