Communications minister Paul Fletcher has laid out a set of expectations for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on how it regulates NBN Co.
Fletcher issued a “Statement of Expectations” outlining the ACCC’s key relationships, accountabilities and operational priorities relating to its telecommunications-related functions.
The statement comes despite the ACCC not being part of Fletcher’s remit, with the agency working as an independent body under Treasury, instead of the communications portfolio.
“Our telecommunications regulatory framework aims to deliver outcomes for consumers while supporting industry innovation. The ACCC has a central role in this framework,” Fletcher said.
“This is an opportune time to issue this Statement of Expectations: the telecommunications environment has evolved significantly over recent years, including the National Broadband Network rollout nearing completion and the advancing deployment of 5G services across the country.”
The statement discusses NBN Co’s wholesale prices, business market competition, and spectrum.
Fletcher said the agency should help develop a regulatory solution on NBN’s wholesale pricing and increase competition in its business segment to help drive prices for end-users down.
He also expects the ACCC to provide advice on spectrum allocations and other related issues when requested, while also taking into account the government’s communications policy objectives.
As per standard practice, the ACCC is expected to respond to the statement within the next three months.