Albanese Government welcomes lodgement of new NBN SAU variation to the ACCC
The Albanese Government welcomes NBN Co’s lodgement of a revised Special Access Undertaking (SAU) variation with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The SAU provides a framework for how NBN prices are regulated to ensure broadband remains affordable, while ensuring NBN Co remains a commercially sustainable company that can efficiently invest in Australia’s future connectivity needs.
The revised proposal follows a reset of the SAU process by the Albanese Government earlier this year.
In July, the Minister for Communications and Minister for Finance jointly wrote to NBN Co to support the company withdrawing its March 2022 proposal, on the basis that the existing proposal was not acceptable.
That proposal, lodged under the former Government, would have allowed NBN price increases of inflation plus three per cent a year on some products. This was underpinned by unrealistic revenue expectations, and a view to privatisation. This approach had no reasonable prospect of being accepted by the ACCC, and risked regulatory intervention.
This is why Shareholder Ministers also wrote to the ACCC in July outlining the change in policy landscape under the new Government, to create space for problem-solving and support a timely and sensible resolution of this issue.
The Government is pleased that following the reset, and subsequent detailed engagement on the revised proposal, this next juncture has now been reached.
The ACCC will soon commence a public consultation process on the revised variation and the Government encourages all parties to continue engaging constructively with each other throughout this process.
For more information on the SAU visit https://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/telecommunications-and-internet/national-broadband-network-nbn-access-regulation/nbn-co-sau-variation-2022
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“At the core of the Albanese Government’s priorities are the long-term interests of Australian consumers. This means affordable prices and a quality, resilient network.
“I’m pleased that the reset process has taken a significant step forward in this process. The NBN supports much of Australia’s economy and many families and it is important we get the policy settings right.
“I encourage industry and consumer groups to have their say when the ACCC’s consultation process opens.”