Rival ISPs slam ‘discriminatory’ Telstra fibre deal


news The Competitive Carriers’ Coalition (CCC) this week objected strongly to the Government’s decision to exempt Telstra, the nation’s largest telco, from its own regulations in more than 100 locations around the country, saying that it will leave thousands of Australians without the full benefits of increasing competition in broadband markets.

The CCC represents a number of telcos such as Primus, iiNet, AAPT and more — but not Telstra. The organisation’s response was in reaction to the new accord, signed by Telstra this week with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, which grants it exemptions from meeting the Government’s and National Broadcast Network (NBN) Co’s regulations for the setup of new fibre infrastructure.

Laws passed in 2011, meant to safeguard NBN Co against unfair price competition, require that any company that builds a fibre to the home network has to operate the network in the same way as the wholesale-only NBN does. In return for the exemption, announced Minister Conroy, Telstra would provide what he described as “an open access wholesale service” on fibre networks it is currently deploying in South Brisbane and also in some new housing estate projects.

“The decision gives Telstra a green light to discriminate against consumers who choose to buy services from competitors,” a CCC spokesperson said. “The exemption is to laws that the Government introduced after years of complaints from competitors about Telstra’s conduct. This legislation was supported by competitors who had watched Telstra selectively replace its copper access network with fibre to the home or fibre to the node, and in the process cut off competitors who had paid Telstra to put their equipment into Telstra exchanges.”

The CCC also criticised the “open access” arrangement approved by Minister Conroy, terming it as “vastly inferior and more limited than that offered by NBN Co” and “less competitive to the service Telstra is required to offer over its copper network.”

Some of the flaws in the exemptions, according to the CCC, are:

  • The arrangement will not provide competitors with access to the same services that NBN Co will be offering, making it difficult for them to transition to the NBN;
  • Of the three speeds offered by Telstra, the 8Mbps option does not meet the national commitment for 12Mbps;
  • There is no commitment from Telstra that the wholesale services will be equivalent in any way to Telstra Retail services, opening the door to a return to the worst competitive abuses of the past;
  • There is no requirement for Telstra to provide a wholesale equivalent of any other retail service it offers over the networks;
  • The wholesale services are inferior to the services that could be offered through the ULLS, because Telstra has to provide only three wholesale service options that limit competitors’ ability to provide different and innovative retail products;
  • The wholesale services Telstra has offered do not include a symmetrical service, despite the Government having repeatedly said that this was a key reason for preferring fibre to the home as a technology, and;
  • The affected communities will not be covered by the new obligations Telstra will face if its own Structural Separation Undertaking is accepted by the ACCC.

Telstra has confirmed that it will not address several of the complaints by other ISPs about the way it is handling its new fibre rollout in the South Brisbane exchange area. Issues range from the company’s wholesale prices—which are claimed to be markedly higher than equivalent broadband prices on the previous copper network—to the lack of equivalent services such as the ability to stream IPTV services via multi-cast or offer so-called ‘naked’ services without an attached telephone line.


  1. You see, this is the culture now, where Telstra believes it’s above everyone else and thats just the way it is. Arrogance and greed to its worst extent.

  2. CCCC is very correct in points.

    telstra must straightaway give nbnco control of velocity fttp networks so telstra fibre is run how nbnco is going to run. because nbnco is long establish best practises and best benchmark in the world. nbnco expert managers know how to run fibre networks, are best in the world, telstra should hand over control tommorow so consumers benefit immediately. also ACCC should force telstra offer same nbnco product set and pricing in velocity immediately, anything below is not good enough. this is already determine by nbnco to be best product set for australia

    telstra must let other isps resell foxtel and 3g/4g mobile in same way bigpond can bundle foxtel and wireless. only this way is fair to other isps and level playing field immediately. they must be enabled to offer same product set as bigpond plus same retail pricing in all areas. bigpond must not allow to be different from other players, this is discrimination and not true even playing field. better force telstra to give foxtel and mobile network to nbnco as well as coper. this way everyone can share in everything and australian people benefit. foxtel TV and mobile will become cheaper tomorrow because of new competition,

    telstra must offer naked ftth like nbnco. nbnco allows to only buy internet port without voice port for lower AVC price, this is the naked CVC rebate (same as ULLS). ACCC must stop greedy telstra forcing consumers to buy internet and phone as well and make them introduce cheaper (no voice port) naked ftth like nbnco.

    also telstra must make all services symmetrical like nbnco (12/12, 25/25, 50/50, 100/100). if nbnco can do it, telstra fibre network should do it.

    the copper adsl SSU must be immediately modify to cover both copper and fibre, not just copper. ACCC can do this, easy just add “and fibre” to SSU agreement, no complex problem or law. ACCC have power to regulate everything including foxtel.

    • What is your problem with Telstra? I can understand concerns about Telstra overcharging or not meeting the 12Mbps commitment, as well discriminatory pricing to other wholesale providers, but how can you logically extend these problems to Telstra’s Foxtel and mobile services?

      I remember pointing out the impractical nature of your position, as well as some glaring factual errors, in another article. However that appears to have fallen on death ears. This comment only serves to continue that flawed position.

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