ACCC seeks submissions on Telstra's proposed changes to NBN Migration Plan

On 20 May 2016, the ACCC published a Discussion Paper seeking feedback on whether Telstra's Migration Plan should incorporate Telstra's proposed changes.

The Migration Plan, approved by the ACCC on 26 June 2015, lays out how Telstra will progressively disconnect its copper and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) networks once the NBN is rolled out. Telstra's proposed variations to the Migration Plan, submitted to the ACCC on 9 May 2016, centre on altering certain deadlines for disconnection. Requested changes include:  

  • Special Services (business grade services) be granted an extra 12 months to the premises' disconnection date should the NBN decide to change the access technology being used to supply Special Services.
  • premises that are still waiting for their NBN service order to be filled after the disconnection date (otherwise known as in-train order premises (ITOPs)) be supplied services for 150 business days after the disconnection date, rather than 30 business days. During this extended time, Telstra also wants NBN to notify it of completed or cancelled ITOPs at the 60, 90 and 120 business day mark.    

In its Discussion Paper, the ACCC is only considering whether the Migration Plan still complies with the Migration Plan Principles issued by the Government in the Telecommunications (Migration Plan Principles) Determination 2015.

The ACCC is seeking submissions by 5pm on Monday 20 June 2016. Written submissions should be sent to ssu-migration@accc.gov.au, titled: Submission re: proposed variation to the Migration Plan.

For the rollout schedule and disconnection dates, click here.

For the media release and more information on submissions, click here.

ACCC seeks submissions on Draft Guidelines for PART IIIA Access Undertakings

On 9 May 2016, the ACCC released the Draft Part IIIA Access Undertaking Guidelines  (Draft Guidelines).  Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) establishes the National Access Regime which facilitates third party access to services of significant monopoly infrastructure.

Under the National Access Regime, providers of these infrastructure services may submit access undertakings to the ACCC, providing the terms and conditions of access. The Draft Guidelines aim to help service providers draft and submit an access undertaking for assessment, or vary or withdraw an accepted undertaking. 

The ACCC is accepting public submissions up to 5pm on Tuesday 7 June 2016. Written submissions should be sent to transport@accc.gov.au. For further information on the submission process, click here.

Government releases draft review of ACMA

On 6 May 2016, the Department of Communications and the Arts released the Draft Report on the Review of the ACMA (the Draft Report). The Draft Report says the ACMA has performed well in its regulatory capacity, but substantial progress had been hindered by a "lack of clarity and cohesion" on decision making responsibilities and objectives.

Accordingly, the Draft Report proposes changes including:  

  1. amending the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 to allow the ACMA to better accommodate the changing media sphere and meet the objectives laid out by the Government;
  2. subjecting the current regulatory regime to a Government-driven regulatory reform programme to adapt to the increasingly interconnected and expansive communications sector;
  3. clarifying the ACMA's remit by tasking the Federal Government with providing more forthright formal advice to the ACMA on its expectations; and
  4. establishing new governance arrangements including a commission structure where members are experts working full-time for the ACMA, supported by associate members and sub-boards.  

The Draft Report follows the announcement of a review of the ACMA on 12 June 2015, and the release of an issue paper on 13 July 2015. Public consultation on that issue paper closed on 10 August 2015. 

The Department is seeking stakeholder feedback by 5pm on Friday 10 June 2016. Submissions can be madehere. A final report is expected shortly after this.

ACMA considers trialling phone jammers at Goulburn Correctional Complex

On 9 May 2016, the ACMA released a Consultation Paper on the proposed trial of mobile phone jammers at Goulburn Correctional Complex. Following what was considered a successful trial of mobile phone jammers at Lithgow Correctional Centre, the ACMA is seeking to extend the trial for two years to Goulburn to gain further insight into the benefits and risks of jammers in these centres.

The Consultation Paper invites comment on the draft Radiocommunications (Testing and Field Trial by Corrective Services NSW of PMTS Jamming Devices at Goulburn Correctional Complex) Exemption Determination 2016.

Comments are being accepted up to Thursday 16 June 2016. To make, or learn more about, submitting comments, click here.