SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for the Public Service
Minister for Women
THE HON MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
Minister for Communications
Date: Tuesday, 17 October 2023
The decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to accept NBN Co’s Special Access Undertaking (SAU) is a positive outcome for households, NBN Co and industry.
The Government hopes this significant development enables NBN Co and retail providers to look forward with renewed determination to improve connectivity for Australians.
The SAU provides the foundation for regulating pricing on the National Broadband Network (NBN). The now accepted SAU ensures broadband access remains affordable, and that NBN Co remains a commercially viable business that can meet Australia’s evolving connectivity needs now and into the future.
The SAU will support better outcomes for consumers and industry. It will provide greater certainty, phase out CVC pricing, create baseline service standards and processes to enable future service quality improvements, and drive efficiency by establishing robust processes to assess NBN Co’s expenditure.
The revised service and pricing arrangements in the SAU variation are expected to be implemented through a new Wholesale Broadband Agreement between NBN Co and retail service providers from 1 December 2023.
The ACCC has made this decision as the independent regulator, having regard to the long-term interests of end-users.
The Albanese Government thanks the ACCC, NBN Co and the industry for their extensive engagement, patience, and willingness to create space for problem-solving.
This was the stated desire of Shareholder Ministers when they wrote to NBN Co and the ACCC to support the withdrawal of the SAU variation proposal lodged in March 2022.
That proposal, lodged under the former Coalition Government, allowed price increases of inflation plus three per cent a year on some products, with no prospect of acceptance by the ACCC.
This situation required a change of government to reset the regulatory process, along with a genuine focus on the long-term interests of Australians consumers.
The Albanese Government is delivering a better NBN for all Australians, and today’s decision enables NBN Co to continue driving that mission.
For more information on the accepted SAU, visit: www.accc.gov.au/by-industry/telecommunications-and-internet/national-broadband-network-nbn-access-regulation/nbn-co-sau-variation-august-2023/final-decision
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Finance, the Hon Katy Gallagher:
“This decision will help to ensure the commercial viability of NBN Co, so that it can continue to deliver affordable and quality broadband access for Australian families and businesses into the future.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government welcomes the ACCC’s decision, which is great news for consumers, and will give certainty to industry and NBN Co.
“The Government has been committed to landing a revised SAU that puts the long-term interests of consumers first. That’s why we supported the withdrawal of an application under the former Coalition Government that would have made broadband prices unaffordable, and reset this process.
“The NBN supports much of Australia’s economy and many families, and so it is vital we get the policy settings right.
“We appreciate the constructive contributions of NBN Co, the ACCC, industry and consumer representatives during this process”.