news The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched a public inquiry into whether it should continue to regulate the wholesale ADSL service provided by Telstra.
ADSL technologies provide high-speed fixed-line broadband services over copper cable networks and are currently the most common fixed-line broadband technology in Australia.
The ACCC first declared access to the wholesale ADSL service in February 2012, and is required to review the declaration before it expires in February of next year.
“A number of changes have occurred since the wholesale ADSL service was first declared in 2012, including the progressive rollout of the National Broadband Network,” said the ACCC’s Commissioner, Roger Featherston.
“This inquiry will assist the ACCC in determining whether continued declaration of the wholesale ADSL service is in the long-term interests of end users,” Featherston added.
The ACCC can declare a service if it decides that doing so would promote the long-term interests of end users.
Once a service is declared, a network owner must provide access to the service on request and, if commercial agreement cannot be reached, the ACCC must determine regulated price and non-price terms.
A discussion paper issued yesterday is seeking submissions on a range of issues relevant to the inquiry, the ACCC said.
The relationship between Telstra and the ACCC has not always been an easy one.
In October 2015, the regulator forced Telstra to slash its access charges for fixed phone lines and ADSL internet to other companies by 9.4%.
Although the cut was slightly lower than the 9.6% proposed in a draft decision last summer, Telstra said it was “particularly disappointed’ in the ruling, according to The Australian.
The ACCC’s discussion paper can be accessed at wholesale ADSL declaration inquiry 2016 webpage.
Submissions are invited by 29 July 2016 and will inform the ACCC in the run up to its final decision, which is expected in early 2017 before the current declaration expires.