ACCC grants Telstra further wholesale voice exemptions

30 Oct 2008

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will grant fixed line incumbent Telstra further exemptions from its obligations to supply a ‘declared service’ for public switched telephone network originating access (PSTN OA) in parts of metropolitan Australia, subject to a number of conditions. The ruling, which is in line with the regulator’s recent decision to offer similar exemptions for wholesale line rental and local carriage service, will cover 248 metropolitan exchange service areas, less than Telstra had requested. The ACCC claims the reasoning behind the new legislation is the belief that regulation should focus on elements of the fixed line network that continue to exhibit natural monopoly characteristics; the regulator has stated that wholesale voice services (including PSTN OA) no longer fall into this category as access seekers are able to use their own DSLAM or MSAN facilities to provide voice services by making direct use of Telstra’s unbundled copper through the declared Unconditioned Local Loop Service (ULLS).