Has NBN Convinced The ACCC To Back Down?
The ACCC may be backing off from their tough approach to regulating NBN Co prices, according to the Australian Financial Review.
A three-year investigation into the access pricing and wholesale service standards of the government-owned company is expected to end in an amicable agreement.
Instead of the consumer regulator having power over the price and service standards, NBN Co will be free to set their own terms and conditions, the publication claims.
The ACCC investigation kickstarted in 2017 over “concerns that prevailing access terms were limiting competition and efficiency in downstream markets for NBN services, and placing consumers at greater risk of poor outcomes.”
In April, the ACCC proposed NBN should pay a connection rebate of $13.50 per business day for each missed connection service level. However NBN was able to push back against this proposal and the regulator approved $7.50 per day instead.
Aussie Telcos have voiced their dismay at the ACCC rolling over on their initially tough stance. In a submission to the ACCC, Telstra wrote: “Given the immense imbalance in bargaining power and ongoing uncertainty associated with the commercial negotiations, Telstra considers that issuing a FAD would be in the long term interests of end users (LTIE).”
“Not issuing a FAD means that any disputes about further terms of supply will be subject to lengthy processes that may ultimately fail to provide any solution, harming competition and incentives for efficient investment, to the detriment of end user and access seeker interests.”
In their own submission, Optus said the ACCC should reform the NBN Co’s Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) charge, which is levied against RSPs for the maximum amount of bandwidth they want to make available to their broadband customers.