nbn legislative framework
The national broadband network (nbn) regulatory framework was set up with two Acts:
- National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011
- Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures—Access Arrangements) Act 2011
nbn is the wholesale-only broadband company. nbn sells its services to retail phone and internet service providers. It must be open, transparent and fair in this, under the supervision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The legislation set up the regulatory framework for nbn and sets out the process for the eventual sale.
Requirements for the sale of nbn
nbn can’t be sold until:
- the Minister for Communications declares that the nbn is built and fully operational
- the Productivity Commission has an inquiry into regulatory, budgetary, consumer and competition matters relating to the nbn
- a Parliamentary Joint Committee considers the findings of that report
- the Minister for Finance makes a disallowable declaration that conditions are suitable to sell nbn
- Parliament doesn’t disallow that declaration.
Open and fair access
nbn sells wholesale access to its network to retail service providers. The way it does this is subject to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010:
- nbn can’t discriminate against its potential customers if they are creditworthy and they comply with nbn's terms and conditions.
- The ACCC has oversight of all of nbn's services
- nbn must publish all the services it offers; any differences must be given to the ACCC to publish on its website
Find out more:
- NBN Co: Wholesale Broadband Agreement
- Register of NBN Access Agreement Statements (AAS) (s. 152BEBD)
- NBN Co Special Access Undertaking (December 2013)
- Review of Division 16 of Part XIB of the the Competition and Consumer Act Report
Freedom of information
nbn is subject to the Freedom of information Act 1982, other than for its commercial activities.
Rules for other providers
Superfast fixed line broadband networks must meet a new carrier licence condition if their service targets residential customers. The declaration and explanatory statement are available on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
Any company offering superfast fixed-line local access networks built, upgraded or extended after 1 January 2011 must be a wholesale provider: it can’t sell it’s services directly to the public, and, like nbn, it must comply with competition laws: