The fourth iteration of NBN Co’s wholesale broadband agreement has come into action today following months of negotiations.
The new agreement, valid as of 1 December, will give retail service providers (RSPs) lower entry-level prices and higher consumer rebate after Australia’s media and competition watchdogs waded into the talks.
According to NBN Co, more than 50 RSPs have signed up to the new deal, many of them were involved in its development.
As part of the new agreement, NBN Co’s entry-level broadband access bundle will fall in price from $26.60 to $24.70 from December 2020 to April 2021, followed by another reduction to $22.50 from May 2021 to November 2022.
Following a push by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), late connections and fault rectifications will now carry rebates of $7.50 and $15, respectively, as opposed to the current one-off $25 rebate.
Additionally, rebates for missed appointments will increase to $50, and then $75 for every subsequent missed appointment, instead of the current rebate of $25.
The inquiry into NBN Co’s pricing and performance has been going on since October 2019, with the ACCC advocating for the raise to the missed appointment rebate in April this year.
However, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has pushed for harder measures that would see these rebates passed onto the consumers.
The launch of WBA4 comes as NBN Co ends its 40 percent bandwidth bonus today, providing a credit to RSPs if total CVC charges in the September billing period exceeded their respective CVC.
“The NBN Co’s tapering of COVID-19 CVC credit offer to internet retailers recognises that peak data demand is returning to normal forecast levels of growth,” the broadband builder claimed.
In a statement, NBN Co’s chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb said he was confident that “we have developed a substantially better deal for RSPs”.
“And, importantly, we have drafted WBA4 to more clearly define responsibilities and accountabilities that exist between NBN Co and our retail partners with the aim of providing consistently great service to customers.
“We hope these refined rules of engagement will drive continuing improvements in the customer experience of the NBN network from connection through to fault identification and resolution, as well as setting service standards that underpin everyday use. We have identified and aligned wholesaler and retailer incentives with the aim of working together to resolve issues quickly and improve the customer experience.”
The move comes as NBN Co begins extending its fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network to another 100,000 homes as part of a recently announced $4.5 billion upgrade.
The new roll-out will cover all states excluding Tasmania and the Northern Territory, comprising of metropolitan and regional areas.