• Wholesale Broadband Agreement
  • TPG Telecom’s Statement on ACMA's Rules
  • Telstra’s Statement on ACMA's Rules

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NBN Co, along with retail service providers, such as Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom, and Vocus, sends a joint letter to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). According to the letter, they want flexibility regarding rebates for service mishaps

Particularly, they want to discuss rules about the extent to which the full monetary value of a rebate from NBN Co needs to be passed through to the end-user. Also, the letter asks if the ACMA needs to get involved since much of the rebate issue is discussed in the latest wholesale broadband agreement (WBA4) between NBN Co and the RSPs.  

Wholesale Broadband Agreement 

The WBA4 agreement includes terms where RSPs are allowed to pass on a “fair value benefit” of a rebate to consumers in most cases, noting that it could be monetary or non-monetary. 

Only rebates for missed appointments need to be passed on in full. 

The RSPs argue that rules about rebates required by the ACMA would result in a loss. Since RSPs will give the same rebates and service levels, it prevents them from offering unique service solutions for their subscribers. 

TPG Telecom’s Statement

TPG Telecom openly said that further rules about passing through rebates, in addition to those already settled in the WBA4, were unnecessary. 

“Imposing a requirement on RSPs to pass through all rebates would be complex and difficult to enforce,” TPG Telecom said.

“Introducing pass through rules, as proposed by the ACMA, undermines service providers' ability to differentiate in competitive markets and imposes unnecessary costs on already tight RSP margins through system changes and reporting and compliance obligations.”

TPG Telecom claims that RSPs should have permission to use rebates to compensate costs they incur when dealing with faults and problems they have no control over.

Telstra’s Statement

On the other hand, Telstra said that the ACMA rules do not reflect how RSPs manage their subscribers. The agreement won't let them give the needs of their subscribers.  

“We focus on service continuity whether or not NBN Co provides a commercial rebate, as we have incentives to ensure our customers have a good experience with us and are not inconvenienced.”

Furthermore, Telstra said that their subscribers would surely prefer a working service than a rebate paid probably months after the event happened.  

NBN Co supports the arguments of the RSPs. According to them, there should be flexibility to allow the industry to develop new rebates that reflect market circumstances at a particular point in time. Doing this ensures that innovative solutions will become available to deliver NBN plans with quality services for subscribers.