ACCC edges toward final decision on NBN SAU

Varied SAU includes changes requested by ACCC

NBN Co has submitted a modified version of its special access undertaking (SAU) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for approval.

The SAU will govern NBN Co's wholesale pricing and operations as the sole wholesaler for the National Broadband Network (NBN) until 2040.

NBN Co submitted the varied SAU yesterday in response to an ACCC written notice requiring a number of tweaks to the one lodged in December 2012.

The varied SAU incorporated the changes requested by the ACCC with only minor edits. The modifications including increasing the number of price reviews the ACCC can undertake; provisions that prevent NBN Co from varying existing products that might reduce the functionality or performance of them; and changes to the ACCC assessment of prudency and efficiency of NBN Co’s capital expenditure during the construction of the network.

In a statement, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims assured everyone that the SAU process would soon come to an end.

“The submission of a varied SAU is the final stage in the ACCC’s assessment of NBN Co’s undertaking,” he said.

“Following consultation, the ACCC will issue its final decision on the varied SAU. If accepted, the SAU will provide a significant degree of regulatory certainty that access seekers are requesting before they enter into longer term commercial contracts with NBN Co.”

The ACCC added that the consultation period will be “very brief.” Interested parties can lodge submissions by 28 November and the ACCC said it would issue a final decision by year end.

The revised SAU can be read in full on the ACCC website.

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