ACCC ditches plan to monitor dark fibre services

Competition in NBN aggregation services addresses ACCC concerns

Credit: Dreamstime

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it won’t implement a proposed rule that would have required telcos to provide it with a range of data relating to dark fibre and NBN wholesale aggregation services.

The commission conducted a public consultation on the proposed record keeping rule (RKRs), which were focused on services to NBN Points of Interconnect (POIs).

The dark fibre RKR would have covered Telstra, TPG (including AAPT), Nextgen, Vocus, Optus and Superloop, requiring them to report the number and distance of links, the NBN POI at which a link terminates, and prices charged for a link during a reporting period.

A separate NBN wholesale aggregation RKR would have applied to Optus, Telstra, TPG (and AAPT), Nextgen, Vocus, Symbio and Wideband. It would have included the names of customers of wholesale aggregation services, the prices charged by network operators, which POIs customers were served at, contracted capacity as well as a range of other data, such as NBN speed tiers.

The proposed RKRs follow the ACCC’s 2018 report into the state of Australia’s telco market, which said there appeared to be “limited competition in the supply of dark fibre services” including to NBN points of interconnect (POIs).

The ACCC said that it was concerned about the “slow development of the wholesale markets for NBN aggregation services and dark fibre availability”.

During the ACCC’s consultation period Vocus, TPG, Optus and Telstra all questioned whether the new RKRs were necessary.

The ACCC said today that it had concluded competition for NBN aggregation services continues to develop as the network rollout proceeds.

“We have seen significant recent developments in this market, including the entry of more providers, a bigger variety of products, and more reliable passing through of NBN price discounts and product launches to wholesale customers,” ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said in a statement.

The ACCC said there were also alternatives to dark fibre and NBN aggregation services, including more competitive backhaul pricing and NBN Co’s NNI Link product.

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Tags broadbandNetworkingTelecommunicationsNational Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)dark Fibre

More about AAPTAustraliaAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionnbnNBN CoOptusSymbio

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