ACCC raises competition concerns over NBN’s Telstra HFC deal


news The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed concerns around Telstra’s involvement in the rollout of the NBN network, saying it poses a threat to competition.

Recognising that using Telstra’s technical expertise is likely to contribute to a faster rollout of the NBN, the ACCC said it remains “concerned that competition issues arise from agreements that involve Telstra in the construction and maintenance of the NBN”.

The commission’s concerns include the HFC Delivery Agreement announced yesterday, it added.

In the announcement, the NBN company said it would pay Telstra about $1.6 billion over the next four years to upgrade and extend its HFC cable network as part of the National Broadband Network.

Eventually about a third of Australians are expected to receive NBN services over the HFC cable networks.

Under the new arrangement, Telstra is to carry out the design, part of the construction and the construction management of the remaining work required to extend the NBN network to around three million premises currently in the footprint of Telstra’s HFC cable network.

“We have raised several concerns with Telstra and NBN Co, including that Telstra may receive a competitive advantage if it has access to better information than other service providers or if it is able to use infrastructure built for the NBN network before that infrastructure becomes available to other retail service providers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC said it has had “extensive and productive” discussions with NBN and Telstra, seeking to address the issues that could arise because of Telstra’s role in providing design, engineering, procurement and construction management services to NBN under the HFC plan.

NBN and Telstra recently provided a set of proposals aimed at addressing these concerns, the commission acknowledged.

“We are looking at the parties’ proposals carefully to consider to what extent these proposals address our concerns,” said Sims.

“It is important that Telstra doesn’t get a head-start selling retail services over the NBN just because its technical expertise is being used in the construction and maintenance of the NBN,” he concluded.

Image credit: ACCC


  1. Oh dear…

    If only they did as they were told by the IPA and abolished these troublesome do-gooders, attempting to represent the average Aussie via fair competition, they wouldn’t have a problem now.

    • I’m waiting for Reality to show up and tell us “Why shouldn’t Telstra get special treatment? It is just good management to get those who know the most about the network to build it/maintain it/get insider knowledge about it that other RSPs don’t”.

      • …and the POI’s (on a slightly different topic).

        But “at least he’d have a valid point for once” with that strange POI ruling.

  2. $50 ACCC won’t do anything.
    $100 nobody will take on my bet because you know you’ll lose :)

    • Nailed it!

      The ACCC is utterly useless, for evidence see:

      121 POI Decision
      TPG Buyout of iiNet
      et etc

    • Technically no, not currently, as the NBN utilising the HFC and selling access to it is a largely different beast to what Telstra are already doing with the HFC, which is they own/run/sell on it themselves, they aren’t being sold a service on it.

  3. Not sure what the problem is, Telstra maintain and upgrade the NBN HFC infrastructure, infrastructure access that will be available to all NBN resellers not just BigPond, there is not BigPond only wholesale HFC pricing and a different set of wholesale HFC pricing for ‘others’.

    Telstra also maintain and upgrade the FTTN so why the ACCC concern just about HFC and not FTTN, especially as FTTN is targeted for a bigger footprint?

    • @ alain

      “Not sure what the problem is…”

      What a surprise *gasp*…

      Yes we’ve seen you ignore problems to suit and also invent non-existent problems to suit, many times over the years via your illogically warped contradictory obstinance…

      Mostly (if not entirely) contrary to the facts, you will still argue that FTTP was and Labor/NBNCo got, everything 100% wrong and MTM is and the Coalition/NBN™ get, everything 100% right…

      IMO, anyone so naive as to even think/believe this, let alone actually put it into one’s comments, is either an apple polishing shill or a goon or both of course….

      You’re welcome.

      • Not that you answered why HFC is a problem and FTTN is not, because you cannot so true to form time for a off topic mindless rant that adds like 99.99% of your comments absolutely nothing to the discussion.

        • @ alain,

          READ MY LIPS: I do not need to answer any question (even the 0.0000001% rounded down to ZERO intelligent ones) from you, as you so rudely forever refuse to answer my legitimate questions.

          Got that straight?


          But as I do enjoy embarrassing you (nay humiliating your moronic contradictions regarding your past/present comments and disgraceful double standards etc) I just do so, for shits and giggles.

          Got that straight too?


          Now with the formalities out of the way.

          FTTN is FRAUDBAND (according to the Coalition in 2007 remember?) and NODAFAIL™ according to me 2016… It forms the major part of the MTM “debt and delay disaster ™”.

          “Here’s what was promised”, regardless of your lame excuses let me repeat for all the dummy (yes dummy) here’s what was promised by this woeful motley crew…

          “Download speeds of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by the end of 2016”

          “Our plan will cost $29.5 billion. This will ensure the NBN is cash flow positive and can operate without assistance from government.”

          So now that it’s $70B according to the previous Coalition Treasurer and some 4 years behind… it obviously won’t be cash flow positive and will be a drain on taxpayers for years. Contrary also, to their assurances of affordability for taxpayers.

          I don’t have to answer re HFC, you answered it yourself…

          *** HFC (your word) F A I L E D… remember now? ***

          Care to now F I N A L L Y answer one of my legitimate questions as follows (if you aren’t the rude and disgraceful person, you appear to be)?

          Q. How HFC can be both FAILED and (your word again) “lucrative”.

          A. (spoon feed time again – fill in the gap)

          Or will you disappear, A G A I N for the umpteenth time?

          Gee I wonder *sigh*

          You’re welcome

          • DRUM ROLL… and he rudely refuses to answer (but sobs when I don’t answer him *sigh*) yet A G A I N and disappear it is A G A I N… FFS how lame.

            Seriously if you are going to be mouthy, at least have the balls or even a ball, to back that big mouth.

            Or if you are (as is most apparent) unable to support or even lamely try to excuse (perhaps insanity or PMS) your stupid contradictions, just STFU child…

            You’re welcome

  4. Foxtel will be laughing. Govt funds upgrading their network and giving them millions of new customers. Collusion much?

  5. ACCC raises concerns… everyone else just laughs.

    No one takes the ACCC seriously.

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