NBN Co releases final wholesale agreement draft

The broadband wholesaler will release its Standard Form of Access Agreement by 30 November

NBN Co has released the final draft of its wholesale broadband agreement (WBA) for review by industry, and will publish its Standard Form of Access Agreement by 30 November.

The released WBA is the fifth version of the agreement, under which the National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesaler will supply services to customers and will “declare” the products and services under the Competition and Consumer Act.

The final draft WBA includes details on operational processes as well as ongoing contract developments.

The contract has been reduced to 12 months, following concerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the proposed five-year timeframe NBN Co laid down for access seekers.

It has also established a bilateral and multilateral contract development process to enable further work on the company’s special access undertaking (SAU), which outlines the wholesaler's commitments to the ACCC and customers. Industry has expressed concern over the absence of the SAU.

The release includes the terms and conditions of the WBA, the product catalogue and operations manual, the credit policy, and product and contract development forum processes. It also includes the fair use policy, the product technical specification and the details of the company’s transitional connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) pricing offer, which remains at $20 per megabit per second, despite much criticism on the matter.

The broadband wholesaler recently announced it would offer a rebate on the wholesale charge on its CVC pricing for the first 150Mbps per month for the first 30,000 premises in a connectivity serving area. With the rebate, RSPs will still pay the same access charges, which start at $24 per month. However the CVC — the size of the “pipe” needed to meet the aggregate data usage of consumers — will be rebated.

In releasing the agreement, NBN Co has also established a tool to align the WBA and the SAU once the SAU has been accepted.

“If, as part of the SAU process, the SAU and the WBA were to become inconsistent, the mechanism would allow customers to access the benefits of the regulated outcome should they choose to do so,” the company said in a statement.

Australia’s number two telco, Optus, recently announced its mainland NBN pricing for consumers only, after waiting for the WBA’s release which took “longer than initially envisaged”.

“Whilst there are still some issues to work through, we’re negotiating in good faith and are hopeful we will come to a resolution as it is in all parties’ interests to reach an agreement,” an Optus spokesperson said at the time.

Wholesale aggregator Telcoinabox also announced it had entered into a wholesale agreement with NBN Co under which it would offer NBN services.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Tags WBAwholesale broadband agreementnbn coNational Broadband Network (NBN)

More about Australian Competition and Consumer CommissionAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionCVCetworkOptus

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