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NBN Roundtable Positive Step For Reform, Says ACCC

The ACCC has hailed a recent industry roundtable as a first step towards future reform of NBN regulations.

Held last week between broadband retailers, government, industry and consumer groups, and NBN Co itself, the roundtable discussion was called by the consumer watchdog after an announcement from NBN Co that it would be revising its special access undertaking, which governs the prices the wholesaler can charge retailers.

Anna Brakey, ACCC.

ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said getting the NBN’s regulatory framework right is “a key priority” for the commission this year.

“This roundtable was the first step in that process and it was pleasing to see stakeholders coming together to discuss the issues in an open, constructive way.

“It is clear that the NBN pricing construct is a key issue for stakeholders, and the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) component of NBN’s pricing model was a particular focus of discussion,” she said.

Most stakeholders at the table sought the removal of CVC charges – paid by broadband retailers to access bandwidth – while some proposed pricing models where the CVC component was reduced.

“There was general agreement that a future regulatory framework should encourage efficient use of, and investment in, the network infrastructure.

“Similarly, participants agreed that arrangements should support a range of retail offerings that represent value for users,” said Brakey.

The roundtable also covered increasing support for access and affordability, particularly to low-income NBN customers.

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