Telstra submits revised Structural Separation Undertaking to ACCC

28 Nov 2011

Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra has reportedly handed a revised draft of its structural separation undertaking (SSU) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Financial Review reports. It is understood that Telstra submitted the updated document following concerns raised by both the regulator and alternative operators over the original draft; the incumbent’s rivals had argued that its plans did not go far enough in giving them equal access to its network. The ACCC meanwhile has reportedly called on Telstra to provide an ‘overarching commitment’ to give rivals equivalent access to its monopoly fixed line network during the ten-year transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The ACCC’s commissioners are now expected to meet later this week to examine the revised documentation and consider the changes. Subject to the latest draft of the SSU meeting with the regulator’s approval, another round of consultation with alternative operators is then likely to be opened. While Telstra had hoped to have the matter resolved before Christmas, such a timeframe now looks increasingly unlikely, and the telco has said that it will push back the 20 December deadline previously set for completion of its AUD11 billion (AUD11.7 billion) deal with NBN Co – the public-private company overseeing the management of the new fibre-optic network – for the transition of customers from its copper infrastructure.