Sunday, 05 February 2017 15:03

ACCC keeps clamp on Telstra with continued ADSL regulation Featured

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ACCC keeps clamp on Telstra with continued ADSL regulation Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has moved to ensure all telecommunications service providers can continue to compete on a level playing field with Telstra for access to wholesale Internet ADSL services during the transition to the NBN, by extending ADSL access regulations for a further five years.

ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said continued access to wholesale ADSL services was critical to enable retail providers to compete with the dominant provider, Telstra, in the supply of high-speed broadband services nationally.

The competition watchdog had announced its intent to continue regulation in a draft decision last October, saying that continuing to regulate the wholesale ADSL service would benefit customers by promoting competition in broadband markets until the NBN rollout was complete.

This final decision will see ADSL regulation now continue until February 2022.

“Declaring the ADSL service will lead to a more competitive retail sector which is likely to deliver greater choices for end users in the form of better prices, service quality and service options,” Cifuentes said.

“In making this decision, the ACCC considered submissions from industry and found a general consensus in favour of the ACCC approach.”

The wholesale ADSL service is a point-to-point service which enables retail service providers to deliver high-speed fixed-line broadband Internet services to their customers, using another network provider’s equipment. The services were first declared in February 2012.

Once a service is declared, a network owner must provide access to the service upon request, and where commercial agreement cannot be reached, regulated price and non-price terms determined by the ACCC will apply.

As the ACCC has declared the wholesale ADSL service with the same service description, the current wholesale ADSL final access determination will remain in place until it expires on 30 June 2019.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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