The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has confirmed the receipt of a revised Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) from fixed line incumbent Telstra. Commenting on the updated document, the regulator’s chairman Rod Sims noted: ‘The ACCC welcomes the substantial revisions and additional commitments that Telstra has made in order to address ACCC and industry concerns about equivalence and transparency … However, it has become apparent through this and other processes that there are outstanding regulatory concerns in relation to wholesale ADSL services.’
The ACCC says it is now giving ‘urgent consideration’ to launching a public inquiry into the declaration of wholesale ADSL, while noting that it is still finalising an examination regarding the possible variation of exemption provisions in the final access determinations for Wholesale Line Rental (WLR), Local Call Service (LCS) and Public Switched Telephone Network Originating Access (PSTN OA) services. ‘Provided that the outstanding concerns around wholesale ADSL can be quickly resolved, the ACCC is otherwise minded to accept the undertaking, subject to any new issues of real substance or drafting matters arising in the course of this final round of consultation,’ Mr Sims added.
It is understood that the ACCC will now invite comments from interested parties on the revised undertaking, and it is expected to issue a discussion paper regarding the matter shortly. The consultation period will close in mid-January 2012 and a final decision on Telstra’s SSU is likely to be made the following month.