Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

ACCC opens up superfast broadband to competition



If you’re an apartment dweller served by non-NBN fast broadband, your options have just been opened up.

While the National Broadband Network gathers most of the headlines when it comes to fast broadband plans at the consumer level, the reality is that it’s not quite the only game in town. For certain apartment and office blocks, the relevant fast option lies with a small number of privately owned fibre networks, such as TPG’s Fibre To The Building option. They’re not available everywhere, but where they are it’s pretty much a case of being the only option available to consumers.

The rollout of these networks to selected locations created an effective monopoly on service provision, which has today led to the ACCC declaring what it’s calling the "superfast broadband access service".

What’s a superfast broadband access service?

The ACCC’s declaration of these services applies to non-NBN services with downstream data rates normally more than 25Mbps. The ACCC’s release on the matter specifically namechecks TPG’s FTTB service as operated by subsidiary AAPT as well as Telstra’s Velocity and South Brisbane estate products, but other networks could fall under the scope of this declaration.

What does declaring the service actually mean?

Under the terms of the ACCC’s declaration, for a period of five years access prices to these services will be regulated, meaning that end providers must make them accessible to other retailers at no more than a determined price. The ACCC is seeking input as to price terms but at the outset has set terms that will apply for at least the next 12 months.

In practical terms, what the ACCC is trying to do here is regulate so that customers in the footprint of these services pay similar prices to NBN customers. It notes in the release that:

"Interim prices for entry level services are benchmarked to existing regulated prices for similar superfast broadband services on the NBN and other networks."

Very small providers, defined as those with fewer than 20,000 customers will be exempt from the declaration of services in order to ease regulatory burdens. The other exemption applies to purely business, public works or charity-centric services located in the CBD districts of capital cities. In the latter case it’s not regulatory burdens that create the exemption. Instead, the ACCC views that competition is already sufficient in those instances that declaration is unnecessary.

Image: Shutterstock

Get the best deal on your Internet plan

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site