Friday, 01 November 2019 12:24

ACCC gives ‘price certainty’ with decision on wholesale telecoms services Featured

By
ACCC Chair Rod Sims ACCC Chair Rod Sims

Australia’s competition regulator the ACCC says it has given price certainty for legacy wholesale telecommunications services with its decision to maintain existing price and non-price terms until 30 June 2024 for seven declared, or regulated, fixed line services.

The declared services,predominantly supplied by Telstra, include:

  • the unconditioned local loop service (ULLS),
  • line sharing service (LSS),
  • wholesale line rental (WLR),
  • local carriage service (LCS),
  • fixed originating and terminating access services (FOAS and FTAS), and
  • wholesale ADSL.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says its decision means wholesale prices for non-NBN fixed line services will reduce in real terms over the next five years.

“Our decision will provide real price reductions and certainty for the industry in relation to voice and broadband services which are still being provided through Telstra’s copper network and other legacy infrastructure,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Sims says the decision is expected to be the last to be made by the ACCC in relation to most of these fixed line services.

The NBN is due to be completed in June 2020, and because most customers have 18 months to switch from Telstra’s legacy networks to the NBN, if they choose to do so, customer migration is expected to be mostly done by 2022.

And after the migration, only a small number of services will remain connected to these legacy networks.

“Although the NBN rollout is almost finished, RSPs will still need to use these legacy networks to provide services to some consumers for a few more years,” Sims said.

“Maintaining the current prices and other terms of access will give the industry some certainty and stability as the NBN migration continues.”

The decision will come into effect on 15 November 2019, and follows a fixed line service Final Access Determination public inquiry conducted by the ACCC.

The ACCC has a separate inquiry underway regarding NBN Co’s charges for basic speed broadband access services, with the inquiry related to NBN Co’s wholesale pricing and basic speed retail plans.

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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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