NBN Co., the operator of Australia's National Broadband Network, plans to subsidize the access and service costs it charges to competitive service providers that leverage its network.
What prompted NBN Co. to make the change, as reported by The Age, was growing protest from a number of competitive providers over the requirement to pay speed and data charges as a provision to deliver services to their respective retail customers.
Now, the NBN will offer service providers that leverage the network a rebate of up to AUD 3,000 (USD 3,105) for its connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charge, until it connects at least 30,000 homes and businesses to a particular network exchange. The CVC is the connection between the NBN Co. exchange and the fiber access node.
Jim Hassell, NBN Co's head of product development, said the new structure is all about leveling the playing field for all service providers that want to leverage their network.
"This move is aimed at lowering the barriers to entry for [service providers] and we expect it to promote retail competition and service innovation, leading to flow-on benefits for consumers," he said. "The rebate will give service providers a lower-cost opportunity to enter a geographic area, and build their customer base in the early days."
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