ACCC recommends NBN Co break up

The ACCC released its final report on the Australian telecommunications market on 5 April 2018.

Although not mentioned in its press release or in the accompanying fact sheet, the ACCC makes an explicit recommendation for the Government to push forward with the breakup of NBN Co.

Nevertheless, the Australian Financial Review picked this up in its main headline on the ACCC’s release.

The recommendation specifically advised the Government to continue planning for the NBN Co’s breakup.

This is a new recommendation that was not in the initial draft report released in October 2017 to which I provided a submission.

It seems my submission has had some influence in getting the ACCC to explicitly recommend for the breaking up NBN Co. The final report highlights my submission as follows :

The ACCC final report also provides further details on NBN Co’s activities being undertaken to prepare for future disaggregation.

It appears the Government has withheld from publication the report commissioned by NBN Co on the its OSS and BSS in readiness for disaggregation. This report should be made public and open to comment given the importance of this to any future break up.

The ACCC has recommended that the form of any disaggregation and privatisation of NBN Co should be part of the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission’s future inquiry into the NBN. Such an inquiry is a legislative requirement prior to any privatisation of NBN Co.

The Government, whether Coalition or Labor, has been appropriately advised. It is to be hoped that they will take this into account in their future policies for the NBN.