• There is a need for various telcos to increase the pressure on NBN Co and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to abandon the CVC usage pricing construct.
  • The steady increase in demand for bandwidth after various COVID-19 lockdowns is driving up CVC costs to levels that are no longer sustainable.
  • Aussie Broadband has already established a good working relationship with the Telstra Wholesale duct team.

NBN Co and ACCC Must Abandon CVC Usage for Good Says Aussie BB

According to Aussie Broadband CEO Phil Britt, there is a need for various telcos to increase the pressure on NBN Co and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to abandon the CVC usage pricing construct.

 

Britt said the steady increase in demand for bandwidth after various COVID-19 lockdowns is driving up CVC costs to levels that are no longer sustainable. “That 100 gig of traffic is an awful lot in CVC terms. I think all of us [in the industry] need to be ramping up the pressure on NBN and the ACCC around this. The NBN lodged its special access undertaking last week. And it's not any different to what was leaked just prior to Christmas, which means the CVC still exists for over 60% of the market, is what they propose.”

 

“We're happy to do things at the network layer that just don't actually make sense, to get around a commercial construct that’s broken,” he also added.

 

Britt also shared lessons from the company's project to build a 1,200km fibre network to all 121 NBN PoIs within 20 months. “We learned [early] that things are going to cost a hell of a lot more than you think. And we had some interesting experiences along the way from contractors. Who we went with at the end was great, but because we're relatively new at this, everyone was trying to take the piss. The pricing [quoted] ranged remarkably,” he said.

 

“A lot of providers will start basically building a piece of fiber, connecting services to it, and go from there. [But] ultimately you introduce risk into your core, the more times you splice your joints,” he further added.

 

On the other hand, from the outset of the project, Aussie Broadband has already established a good working relationship with the Telstra Wholesale duct team. “Before we did anything, we basically went in and said ‘we know everyone else has arguments with you all the time about this, what do we need to have a good working relationship?’” Britt said.

 

Aussie Broadband was able to take advantage of the luxury of being able to design its network after the 121 NBN PoIs were developed. “This network has been built speciβically with diversity in mind. When the first entry was designed into the PoI the diverse route was designed at the same time, and so it has meant that we're not tripping over any point - there is no single point in our network where the cable crosses over the same street,” he said. “Ultimately, we think this will lead to a much more resilient network.”

 

According to Britt, the project has also had its share of challenges. “[We also] underestimated congestion on the Telstra duct network. There are sections where it's fantastic and you can get kilometres without any issues. And then you'll get to a point where 10 metres is congested and there's nothing available, you've got to build around,” Britt further added.

 

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