NBN Co to determine national wholesale pricing in June

NBN Co will reveal final wholesale pricing on the National Broadband Network (NBN) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as part of an undertaking it has planned with the commission in June.

"We'll be offering wholesale prices that are competitive," NBN Co chief executive officer Mike Quigley told a Senate hearing today.

For service providers, Quigley said the prices would be "attractive to them compared to alternatives which aren't available to them".

"We've been developing a wholesale product for some time now, and we've been involved in a range of industry consultations over the past 4 months," he added.

This includes discussions with service providers who have signed on to roll out trial NBN networks in Tasmania, including Internode, iiNet and Primus.

"Those discussions have taken place with the retail service providers," Quigley told the Senate hearing. However, he wasn't able to give a specific answer as to the "actual contractual position" of those discussions between the ISPs and NBN Co.

It is understood the wholesale pricing for the Tasmanian trial sites is, in fact, yet to be finalised between NBN Co and the service providers.

iiNet chief regulatory office Stephen Dalby told Computerworld Australia that an agreement was yet to be executed.

"I would phrase it as 'we don't have agreement'," he said. "Until that agreement is completed, then we would continue to say that."

However, Dalby said that prices would likely be similar to the separate fibre network iiNet offers in Victoria.

Quigley said any pricing agreed between the service providers and NBN Co was "interim pricing for the Tasmanian roll-out, which will roll into the national based pricing to those retail service providers in July of 2011".

"What they've decided to charge retail customers is up to them. What we've discussed is pricing between us and them."

National pricing will be determined once the NBN Co clears any regulatory issues with the ACCC.

"We're on track for the July connection of the first operational services [in Tasmania]," he told the Senate hearing.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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