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ACCC Voices Concern Over Future NBN Split

The ACCC is concerned over the government being unprepared over how it will split up the NBN for sale once the network is complete.

The ACCC published its report on the communication market making 28 recommendations actions on competition and consumer issues, one of the recommendations was over the handling of the NBN sale.

The NBN has been taking steps in case the company does get split up with what the report says is in line with recommendations made from the 2014 Vertigan panel of experts review.

In the report, the ACCC made one of its recommendations for the government to ‘continue planning for the future disaggregation of the NBN and ensure that measures are in place to enable the NBN to be split into competing networks, to provide a market structure that will facilitate greater infrastructure-based competition’.

The ACCC continues saying, ‘The form of any disaggregation and privatisation should also be part of the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission’s future inquiry into regulatory, budgetary, consumer and competition matters relating to the NBN’.

The report has found that the markets for broadband and voice services are operating competitively under the current regulatory arrangements, despite the levels of concentration.

Rod Sims, chairman at the ACCC says, “Despite market concentration, competition in the sector is leading to lower prices, greater choice in services and service providers, and bigger inclusions for voice and broadband services on fixed and mobile networks.

“Competition will increase further as Vodafone expands its NBN footprint and TPG deploys its wireless network, bringing additional choice to consumers in terms of quality and pricing of telecommunications services. It is important, however, that progress on NBN speeds, pricing, and service standards issues is sustained.”

The market study also examined likely competition and efficiency developments in the communications sector over the next five years during which 5G technology will be adopted, the NBN rollout completed and the Government’s plans announced.

The consumer watchdog announced the study in August 2016 with a draft report published last October.

The report and its recommendations can be read here.

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