ACCC seeking feedback for communications sector market study


news The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an ‘issues paper’ seeking feedback from industry and consumers as part of a market study of the communications sector.

The paper calls for comment on a range of issues that could have an effect on competition, efficiency of markets, and investment incentives over at least the next five years, according to the ACCC.

“This market study provides an opportunity to examine competition in Australia’s evolving communications markets, recognising the significant changes in how communications services are supplied and used,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The study will assist our understanding of how these trends are affecting competition and ensure regulatory settings remain responsive to drive good consumer outcomes,” he added.

The study will examine the need to manage “significant demand” for data, which is expected to more than double each year for the next few years.

The transition to the NBN and what that will mean for competition and consumer expectations is also to be looked at, as is the relationship between mobile and fixed-line networks.

Other factors to be covered by the study include industry consolidation and the transition to a new market structure, and the emergence of new technologies and delivery platforms.

With submissions closing on 14 October, the ACCC expects to release draft findings for comment in mid-2017 before publishing a final report late next year.

The market study was announced by Sims on 4 August and has already attracted interest from a “wide range of stakeholders”, the ACCC said.

The Commission added that the study will not examine issues which are the subject of other active inquiries into specific communication issues, including the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the future of the Universal Service Obligation.