Superfast broadband network class exemption and deemed functional separation undertaking - consultation paper

Closes 17 Jul 2020

Opened 5 Jun 2020

Overview

The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Act 2020 (TLA Act) received Royal Assent on 25 May 2020. Among other provisions, it amends the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) (Tel Act) to enable superfast fixed line broadband networks serving residential customers to operate on a functionally separated basis (rather than a structurally separated basis). 

In particular, the TLA Act inserts a process into Part 8 of the Tel Act, under which network operators will be able to voluntarily submit functional separation undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for approval. This is intended to provide greater commercial flexibility for superfast network operators and promote infrastructure-based competition.

In addition, the ACCC is empowered to determine a standard functional separation undertaking (known as a ‘deemed’ undertaking) that an eligible corporation can choose to be bound by instead of submitting its own customised voluntary undertaking. 

The new laws come into effect on 26 August 2020, which is the day after the end of the period of three months beginning on the date the TLA Act received Royal Assent. 

Through this consultation, we are seeking views from stakeholders on: 

  • a draft instrument for the exemption for small networks including the class of persons to whom it should apply and any other conditions and limitations
  • the nature and extent of potential functional separation provisions for deemed undertakings
  • the classes of corporations to which deemed undertakings should apply.

How to make a submission

Interested parties can make a submission via this consultation either by responding to questions or uploading a submission. Please refer to the Consultation Paper document when completing the questions.

Alternatively, submissions can be lodged by email to ed.seymour@accc.gov.au or stephen.farago@accc.gov.au

Please include your name, organisation and other contact details when making a submission.

Submissions are due by COB, Friday 17 July 2020.

All submissions will be treated as public documents and published on the ACCC website unless otherwise requested. 

A commercial-in-confidence submission should be clearly marked and include reasons why it is confidential, and it should be submitted along with a public version.

More information about the ACCC’s treatment of confidential information can be found in the ACCC’s Information Policy.

Audiences

  • Industry

Interests

  • Communications