NBN Co to finalise wholesale contract by July

By Ry Crozier on Apr 11, 2011 8:31 AM
Filed under Communications

Wants real industry engagement, not just legalese mark-ups.

NBN Co has revealed an "ambitious" deadline of June or July to publish the final version of its standard wholesale broadband agreement (WBA).

The WBA is one of two key documents that contain the terms on which NBN Co proposes to supply wholesale broadband services to access seekers.

The other document is the special access undertaking (SAU) which NBN Co will lodge with competition regulator the ACCC and which is expected to contain most information about price terms.

NBN Co's industry engagement manager John Sproule told an industry forum today that the company was working to have the WBA ready at least two months ahead of the launch of commercial services in first release sites.

"At the end of this month we'll release version two of the document, then we'll move into a deep dive with the first respondents to the consultation [process we started in October last year]," Sproule said.

"We're moving towards the WBA being ready to be published in June or July... so you have it well before you need to use it."

Sproule said NBN Co would also seek to engage sections of the industry that didn't respond to the October 2010 consultation paper.

He urged the telecommunications and ISP industry to get involved in the consultation process, but asked they identify underlying issues with terms rather than simply marking up changes in the WBA document.

"Simply marking up a document isn't helpful to us," Sproule said. "I can see the legal drafting but it helps to understand what the underlying issue is."

He said the first consultation process had seen a number of amendments made to the first iteration of the WBA, including to aspects involving product IP rights, default notices, minimum terms and disclosure of confidential information.

Sproule said that NBN Co was "trying to deliver a contract that will evolve over time".

"We expect the day one contract will be fairly demure in flavour but over time you will get options to how you operate your contract," he said.

 
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