18 August 2023

NBN submits amended wholesale pricing plan to ACCC

| Andrew McLaughlin
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NBN employee at work

NBN Co has submitted an amended undertaking to the ACCC. Photo: NBN Co.

NBN Co, Australia’s wholesale provider of broadband internet services, has announced it has submitted an amended Special Access Undertaking (SAU) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It follows a previous SAU rejected by the competition watchdog.

The SAU specifies the wholesale pricing of NBN Co’s fibre, fixed wireless and satellite networks and other related services.

NBN Co said the amended SAU addressed all of the issues the ACCC had in its draft decision published on 2 May.

“Following extensive consultation with the ACCC, internet retailers, consumer advocacy groups and the [Federal] Government, NBN Co has made significant modifications to the previous proposed SAU variation, which was lodged in November 2022 and has now been withdrawn,” NBN Co said in a 16 August release.

It said the new approach to its pricing and service standards would “…support faster internet speeds, greater data demand and improved cost certainty for retailers and customers, as well as a range of new measures aimed at delivering a better customer experience of the nbn network.”

The variations in the amended SAU include:

  • the removal of some capacity overage charges and the reduction of others;
  • the implementation of minimum or ‘floor’ prices for and operational improvements to 12, 25 and 50 Mbps (megabits per second) speed fixed line and fixed wireless wholesale tiers;
  • reduced prices for some network-to-network interface services; and
  • the introduction of a weighted average price control that will cap overall annual wholesale price increases on average at CPI.

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“By eliminating capacity (CVC) charges from the nbn Home Fast (100 Mbps) and above wholesale speed tiers, we are giving retailers greater price certainty and providing a pathway for more customers to enjoy the many benefits of our highest speed tiers,” NBN Co chief regulatory affairs officer Jane van Beelen said.

“And by reducing CVC charges and committing to adjust data inclusions over the next three years, we are providing high-value products that will smoothly transition to flat rate wholesale pricing on our 12, 25 and 50 Mbps speed tiers.

“We are well progressed with fibre network upgrades and are on track to deliver access to nbn Home Ultrafast, offering wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps up to close to gigabit speeds2 to up to 10 million homes and businesses across Australia by the end of 2025.

“Our proposed amended SAU variation puts the responsibility and investment risk on NBN Co to meet the expected growth in data demand over the next two decades, while earning the minimum revenues required to invest in the network to deliver faster speeds and greater capacity to customers.”

The company said it hoped the amended SAU would be accepted by the ACCC by mid-October so it could implement a new Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA) by 1 December.

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Who’d have thought that new technologies would make the NBN redundant. 5G anyone

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