Cable competition fine providing lines stay open
The ACCC will not block TPG’s plans to install fibre-optic internet connections to the basements of high-rise apartment blocks.
A complaint had been raised about TPG’s plans for new connections to its existing fibre networks, on the basis that it would breach the ‘NBN level playing field provisions’ in the Telecommunications Act.
The ‘NBN level playing field provisions’ stop anyone other than the NBN from supplying high speed broadband services to small business or residential customers, unless it is on a wholesale basis only and can be accessed by NBN.
But there is a small loophole that says networks capable of supplying high speed broadband services at 1 January 2011 are not caught by the level playing field provisions.
“The ACCC has reached this decision based on information and evidence that TPG’s networks were capable of supplying superfast carriage services to small business or residential customers at 1 January 2011, and confirmation that TPG is not extending the footprint of these networks by more than one kilometre,” ACCC chair Rod Simms said.
The watchdog will now launch a new investigation into whether a superfast broadband access service like TPG’s should be the subject of new regulations to ensure that consumers in TPG-connected buildings can still have other choices.