Tuesday, 23 October 2018 11:28

Increased competition, transparency in Internet interconnection market with latest developments: ACCC Featured

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Increased competition, transparency in Internet interconnection market with latest developments: ACCC Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australia’s competition watchdog, the ACCC, says recent developments in the wholesale market for Internet interconnection services will boost competition in the supply of Internet connectivity and hosted services to corporate and government customers.

And, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commisssion chair Rod Sims, the wholesale market developments will also lead to a better online experience for end-users.

Optus, Telstra, and TPG have recently published the criteria on which they will consider peering with other Internet service providers, detailing the requirements other providers need to achieve in order to directly interconnect with them on a settlement free basis.

Telstra has already entered into a peering relationship with telco Vocus.

Peering arrangements are agreements between ISPs to physically connect to other networks in order to exchange Internet traffic, often without payment being exchanged.

Optus, Telstra, and TPG have long-established peering relationships with each other (and Verizon), and the ACCC says that, to date, other ISPs have had “limited visibility over the criteria these large providers apply in determining whether or not to enter into a peering agreement”.

“We welcome the recent agreement between Telstra and Vocus to enter into a peering arrangement,” Sims said.

“Gaining peering with other networks enables carriers to provide more competitive wholesale ‘transit’ services to other ISPs, which should have positive impacts in downstream markets including the corporate internet market.”

But Sims sounded a note of caution.

“It is important that the big ISPs in particular publicise and apply their criteria in good faith so that other providers have a transparent pathway to peering status as they attain additional scale with the rollout of the NBN and other next generation fixed and mobile networks,” he said.

The ACCC has also issued an update on its assessment of whether access to Internet interconnection services is available on competitive terms. To access the update click here.

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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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