NBN Review Recommends Greater Oversight For Australia’s Competition Watchdog

NBN Review Recommends Greater Oversight For Australia’s Competition Watchdog

Who watches the watchmen? That’s the question being posed by the Vertigan review into the National Broadband Network, which has recommended greater oversight of the government’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The government yesterday released a report from the Vertigan panel, which was set up to investigate rules surrounding access to the NBN and the operations of NBN Co.

First on the list of the review recommendations includes better scrutiny of the ACCC, which currently acts as an independent body to keep the playing field of business level in Australia. The review recommends that the some of the ACCC’s powers be reassessed in line with NBN access requirements, and also recommended that the Consumer and Competition Act 2010 be reviewed to ensure its ongoing effectiveness for assessing issues surrounding the NBN.

TPG’s Mini-NBN Under Threat?

The review also specified that the Fibre To The Basement network being built by TPG exclusively for its own use could become “declared”, meaning that the ISP would be forced to offer access to the network to its competitors.

NBN Co is at odds with TPG over its FTTB rollout, and is currently racing the ISP to a trial network of its own by 2015.

The Vertigan panel’s review also recommended that the Department of Communications keep people up to speed on what is happening with the vectored DSL trials being conducted by NBN Co. You can read more about the review here.

Check out the full report (PDF) from the Vertigan Panel here. [Department of Communications]