ACCC issues final guidelines on non-discrimination for NBN and superfast telecommunications networks
(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released final guidelines on the non-discrimination provisions contained in Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
As part of the National Broadband Network reforms, NBN Co and other providers of wholesale superfast telecommunications services are prohibited from discriminating between their customers. The ACCC has a role under the CCA to prepare explanatory material and enforce the non-discrimination provisions.
"These guidelines reflect the ACCC's approach to interpreting and enforcing the non-discrimination provisions. They are designed to provide guidance to industry on when the ACCC will consider that network providers such as NBN Co have acted in a discriminatory manner," ACCC commissioner Ed Willett said.
"The guidelines do not preclude other parties that are affected by a contravention of the provisions from taking action under the CCA."
Under the ACCC's approach, if more favourable supply terms are only offered to a limited number of customers the ACCC will consider this to be discriminatory, except in limited circumstances.
"The ACCC has not sought to identify in its guidelines every example of conduct that may contravene the non-discrimination provisions. Rather, it has taken a pragmatic approach to the provisions to ensure that competition and efficient outcomes are not undermined," Mr Willett said.
The ACCC will actively monitor compliance with the non-discrimination provisions.
The ACCC has had regard to submissions received to the draft guidelines in the development of its final guidelines.
The final guidelines and the ACCC's response to issues raised by submissions to the draft guidelines will be available on the ACCC's website, www.accc.gov.au
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