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ACCC To Hold Off Decision On NBN Co’s SAU Variation

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced it will hold off making a decision on the NBN Co’s proposed variation to its special access undertaking (SAU), until the company progresses with its customer consultation on its pricing model.

The NBN Co. submitted its revised SAU variation in June, which included incorporating fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies (multi-technology mix services) into the SAU, in a bit to reflect the current NBN model.

This extends the current SAU pricing arrangements to these multi-technology mix services.

The ACCC recognises that the NBN Co is consulting with customers (i.e. telecom companies paying for access to the network), on alternatives to the current pricing model.

ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, states of the matter:

“There has been a lot of discussion about NBN Co’s pricing, particularly around capacity issues and whether it is impacting consumers’ experiences on the NBN”

“We think an industry outcome on NBN pricing is the best solution and preferable to a regulatory outcome. We welcome NBN Co’s initiative here and will let the process run its course”.

Understanding that customer consultation may cause a change in the NBN Co’s pricing model, the ACCC has decided at this time, it is not appropriate to make a decision on the SAU variation:

“We do not think it is appropriate to make a decision on the SAU variation until the pricing consultation is further progressed”, states Mr Sims.

“If that process results in change to the pricing model and further changes to the SAU arrangements are required, then NBN Co will need to submit a new SAU variation to the ACCC”.

The ACCC will progress its consideration on other aspects of the SAU variation – inclusive of non-pricing matters – allowing it to finalise the process when a position has been reached surrounding the NBN CO’s pricing consultation.

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