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NBN Co set to alter telcos' access terms for affordability
21/06/2012 - The builder of the $36 billion national broadband network (NBN) is set to alter the conditions of access to its infrastructure for telecommunications providers such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet to ensure it's affordable.
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The competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had suspended its assessment of NBN Co's special access undertaking (SAU) because the company was expected to submit a revised plan soon.
NBN Co lodged its original SAU, which set out a framework for access to its fibre, wireless and satellite networks over 30 years of its corporate plan, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in December 2011.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said on Wednesday NBN Co had taken a step forward by making revised proposal, following feedback on the original SAU.
"It is a constructive move towards establishing reasonable access arrangements for the NBN," he said in a statement.
NBN Co head of product management and industry relations Jim Hassell said under the revised approach the company would commit to keeping its prices affordable.
"The approach continues to lock-in prices of key products for five years, maintains price controls over all products and, in addition, now confirms NBN Co's intention to decrease the price of the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) as demand increases," Hassell said.
Under the SAU, the ACCC would be given powers and functions to reach agreement between NBN Co and retail service providers on non-price terms or the introduction of new prices.
The ACCC was also optimistic it would finish its assessment before the end of 2012.
Under the government's NBN project, NBN Co is to deliver high speed fibre optic cable broadband to 93 per cent of Australian businesses by 2021.
Fixed wireless technology would cover four per cent while satellites would provide broadband services for the remaining three per cent in rural and remote areas.
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