- The ACCC authorised an agreement between NBN Co and SingTel Optus for the migration of Optus’ HFC subscribers to the NBN and the decommissioning of parts of Optus’ HFC network. This decision confirms a draft decision issued by the ACCC in May 2012. The main public benefits of the HFC agreement, in the ACCC’s view, are that the agreement will 1) avoid the cost of operating the Optus HFC network to provide a service the NBN is also able to provide, and 2) reduce the cost of migrating Optus subscribers who are on the HFC to the NBN.
- The ACCC suspended its assessment of the Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co last December in the expectation that NBN Co will soon lodge a revised undertaking. The SAU sets out a proposed framework for access to NBN Co’s fibre, wireless and satellite networks. The ACCC consulted with stakeholders regarding NBN Co’s proposals. NBN Co provided an outline of its proposed amendments to the ACCC, and is in the process of developing this into a detailed undertaking. As is its usual practice, the ACCC will undertake pre-lodgement discussions with NBN Co on the implementation of its revised approach, and intends to discuss the proposal further with industry.
- The ACCC issued a final access determination (FAD) for the declared domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS). While parties are still able to negotiate their own commercial agreements, the FAD establishes benchmark prices for regulated transmission services and non-price terms and conditions for access seekers to fall back on in negotiations.
- The ACCC decided to temporarily vary the FAD for regulated fixed voice services, and remove the obligation to supply certain regulated fixed voice services over the NBN. This variation commenced on 29 June 2012 and will cease to have effect on the earlier of 31 March 2013, or the date on which Telstra can supply a wholesale NBN voice service. The FADs set price and non-price terms and conditions for access to regulated fixed voice services.
- The ACCC approved Dr Rob Nicholls as the Independent Telecommunications Adjudicator, giving Telstra wholesale customers a new avenue for dispute resolution. The Adjudicator will be able to make binding rulings in respect of the processes that Telstra must follow in allowing access to its network, including processes by which end users will be migrated from Telstra’s networks onto the NBN as it is built.
- The ACCC tabled the Telecommunications Reports 2010–11 in Parliament. The report on retail pricing shows that real prices paid for telecommunication services, fixed-line voice services, mobile voice services and internet services fell during 2010-201. The competitive safeguards report also provides an overview of the regulatory activity in the sector.
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- Gilbert + Tobin
- August 22 2012
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