Telstra has lodged its revised split framework, meaning the $11bn pay off from NBN is a step closer to its coffers.
The telco’s revised Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) submitted today to the ACCC, outlines how it intends to break up its retail and wholesale arms during the construction of the $36bn National Broadband Network.
This means the controversial NBN/Telstra deal may be a step closer, where the telco surrenders all its network infrastructure and cables to NBN Co in return for $11 billion fee, if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approves the revised plan.
Final approval by the competition watchdog will also mean Telstra can go gung-ho on the NBN and release its general strategy, consumer plans and pricing, which Optus has already done, for the high speed fibre broadband services being rollout out this year and beyond.
The 105-page revised SSU came after multiple rounds of public consultation and criticism from rival telcos.
However, the ACCC has indicated Telstra had adequately responded to the issues raised, CEO David Thodey said today.
The changes made to the revised SSU lodged in December include clarification on the operation of the overarching equivalence commitment, and how wholesale customers access reference prices for services.
Just last week the ACCC set a cap on the wholesale broadband prices Telstra can charge rivals, which, it now appears, the telco are not objecting to, even though it could set the giant back up to $55m in revenue annually.
Telstra believes the new changes made to the SSU since it was first lodged in July do not constitute material change in the context of the proposed deal approved by shareholders in October last.
“I am pleased the ACCC has acknowledged that their concerns have been addressed and I note their commitment to consider the SSU promptly,” Thodey said.
Following acceptance of the SSU there is a small number of procedural matters that need to be addressed before the agreements are implemented.
Read the Telstra submission in full here
“The break up means it will cease supplying fixed line carriage services to retail customers in Australia using telecommunications networks over which Telstra is in a position to exercise control” and “will not be in a position to exercise control of a company that supplies fixed line carriage services to retail customers in Australia,” the submission confirmed.
The ACCC confirmed it received the submission today and said it was now moving to finalise its decision on Telstra’s break-up, which it expects to announce “shortly. “
“This further version addresses those drafting issues raised during the recent consultation process that were of concern to the ACCC,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
The competition watchdog does not propose to consult further in relation to the revised undertaking, it said.