Despite opposition from Optus, Primus Telecom and other operators, the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said that it will no longer regulate ISDN and Digital Data Access services (DDAS). In a move that will grant incumbent Telstra the freedom to increase prices for, or indeed discontinue, such services, the regulator did not agree with claims by alternative operators that there are no other technically comparable services in regional and rural areas. As a result the ACCC has removed ISDN and DDAS from the list of declared services. In its decision the regulator said: ‘The ACCC considers that removing regulated access will encourage the general move toward other, better, technologies such as xDSL and wholesale transmission. This will occur through businesses taking up the new technologies and greater investment in more efficient and cost effective services.’
Fully regulated access of both ISDN and DDAS actually expired in 2006, although regulation was maintained in rural regions after other operators contended that ADSL could not provide a comparable substitute. The ACCC reviewed the status of ISDN and DDAS services in 2008, granting a further one year extension to regulation in rural areas.