news The nation’s number two telco Optus this afternoon confirmed it had signed the wholesale services agreement which Optus and other telcos have been negotiating with NBN Co for the past 15 months.
The interim contract will guide how Australia’s retail and wholesale onseller telcos will buy services from NBN Co over the next year, until a more final long-term contract is negotiated. Each telco signs the same standardised agreement with NBN Co.
The contract has been being developed for the past 15 months in consultation with the telecommunications industry, but the negotiations around it have come to a head over the past several weeks, with a number of telcos declining to sign a version of the contract until provisions were modified about the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ability to oversee telcos’ relationships with NBN Co, and NBN Co accepted more legal liability in some areas.
The timing of the breakdown in negotiations came as the previous trial agreement through which telcos had been selling commercial services on the NBN concluded in early January, leading to a situation in which NBN Co might stop signing up new end users to the infrastructure.
Following key modifications made to the contract last week, however, most of the several dozen telcos who have signed up to buy services from NBN Co had signed the contract, with the major holdouts being Optus, and Telstra, which has a more complex relationship with NBN Co courtesy of its $11 billion deal to transfer its customers onto the NBN infrastructure.
Today, however, an Optus spokesperson confirmed the company had signed the document, ending several weeks’ of standoff between the companies. “Optus today confirmed it has signed the executable NBN Co Wholesale Broadband Agreement,” the telco said. “Optus will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with NBN Co to ensure that outstanding concerns such as regulatory oversight and service assurance levels are adequately addressed in any future long-term version of the WBA.”
“Optus confirms it has signed the NBN Co Wholesale Broadband Agreement,” NBN Co added from its Twitter account.
Other companies believed to have signed the agreement include major telcos like iiNet, Internode, Primus and more, with several dozen telcos in total now signed up to provide services over the NBN. So far, however, only a handful of retail ISPs are selling commercial services over the NBN, with one of the nation’s major players, TPG, remaining a notable holdout.