According to Reuters, the structural separation of Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra appears likely to meet with further delays after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) voiced objections to the terms of the proposed split. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month Telstra handed its structural separation plan to the competition watchdog for approval, including its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) and its Migration Plan, the latter of which details proposals to move the telco’s existing customers to the in-development National Broadband Network (NBN). Under the proposals – which require approval from the ACCC as well as a favourable vote from Telstra’s shareholders – the incumbent committed to completing structural separation by 1 July 2018, in addition to which it said that its copper network would be decommissioned by 2020, when the NBN is completed.
Having considered the proposals however, the ACCC has reportedly said that Telstra’s separation plan could not go ahead in its current form, and it has called for important changes. The regulator’s new chairman, Rod Sims, was cited as saying that the Commission had a number of concerns, although he noted that some of them were ‘readily correctable’ by Telstra. The incumbent meanwhile said it had not yet seen the regulator’s statement and declined to make a comment on the development before examining it.