Optus signs NBN Co contract

Optus has become the 25th internet service provider (ISP) to sign a contract with NBN Co to provide services on the network, ending weeks of stand-off over issues with liability and oversight.

Optus has become the 25th internet service provider (ISP) to sign a contract with NBN Co to provide services on the network, ending weeks of stand-off over issues with liability and oversight.

The wholesale-broadband agreement sets out the access arrangements and conditions for an ISP to offer services on the National Broadband Network (NBN). NBN Co had published a number of drafts last year after consultation with industry, before publishing a final document in November. Optus had held out on signing the agreement, however, because there were concerns about disallowing regulatory oversight, and NBN Co accepting no liability for customer-service guarantees, negligence or network outages.

The company confirmed today that it had now signed on the dotted line, but said it would remain in discussion over a number of points it was still concerned about.

"Optus will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with NBN Co to ensure that outstanding concerns such as regulatory oversight and service assurance levels are adequately addressed in any future long-term version of the WBA [Wholesale Broadband Agreement]," Optus said in a statement.

Optus joins 24 other ISPs that have now signed the document, including ISPOne, Primus, iiNet and Internode. The latter two companies were most vocal about their issues with the final agreement, and secured a number of last-minute concessions from NBN Co last week to get the agreement across the line.

Arguably NBN Co's biggest customer — Telstra — has yet to confirm that it has signed the WBA. ZDNet Australia sought confirmation this morning, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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