Wednesday, 12 December 2018 11:23

ACCC starts inquiry into access conditions for Telstra fixed line services Featured

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ACCC starts inquiry into access conditions for Telstra fixed line services Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The competition watchdog, the ACCC, has commenced a public inquiry as it considers the terms and conditions under which other telecommunications companies can use Telstra’s fixed-line services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Wednesday it had started initial consultations ahead of making final access determinations on regulations for Telstra’s six fixed-line services and for wholesale ADSL.

The fixed-line services allow other telecommunications companies to use Telstra's existing copper network facilities to provide voice and broadband services to retail customers.

Services to be examined by the inquiry are the six fixed line services (the unconditioned local loop service, line-sharing service, local carriage service, wholesale line rental service, fixed originating access service, fixed terminating access service, and the wholesale ADSL service.

Existing final access determinations for the six fixed-line services and for wholesale ADSL expire on 30 June 2019.

“Our inquiry will consider the terms and conditions that should be covered in the FAD, including the prices for the services and non-price terms and conditions of access,” ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston said.

As well as commencing initial consultations the ACCC is inviting submissions on issues concerning the next FAD.

“The ACCC would like to hear from stakeholders about a range of factors that can influence the cost of providing the fixed line services.

“It will also explore whether existing FAD prices should be continued. In addition, the ACCC is considering the structure and term of this arrangement,” the ACCC said in Wednesday’s statement.

Responses are being sought by 25 January 2019 and the ACCC says it will release a more detailed consultation and position paper in February 2019 with submissions due by 31 March 2019.

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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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