The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it has frozen the fees for accessing incumbent Telstra’s copper access network until next year, The Australian reports. The price freeze will remain in place until December 2010, with the regulatory body saying that it will now undertake a review of the charges levied for wholesale access to the Telstra copper network. ‘This is a critical review of pricing principles which have been in place since 1997. Since this time, the telecommunications regulatory, technological and competitive landscape have and continue to evolve, and a review is timely,’ said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel of the plans.
While Telstra has, unsurprisingly, welcomed the move, its rivals have been less receptive, with Matt Healey, head of regulatory and government affairs at Macquarie Telecom, saying: ‘While the ACCC continues to navel gaze, the industry is sinking in quicksand… It is bizarre that just as regulatory reform stalls in the Senate, the regulator decides to shelve its long-planned improvements to pricing access to Telstra’s monopoly network.’