The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced the issuing of a final access determination (FAD) for the declared domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS). Under the latest ruling, while parties will still be able to negotiate their own commercial agreements, the FAD establishes benchmark prices for regulated transmission services and non-price terms and conditions for access seekers to fall back on in negotiations. The determination will expire on 31 December 2014, and FAD prices are based upon a domestic benchmark of transmission prices in competitive areas, with the benchmark model taking account of ‘the key drivers of transmission prices including the type of transmission route, distance, data rate, level of protection and quality of service’.
‘Transmission is a key wholesale input to other communications services. The FAD includes prices for regulated transmission services and sends an important signal to the industry about the prices that would be expected in a competitive market,’ ACCC Commissioner Ed Willett said of the development, adding: ‘Overall, the ACCC expects the DTCS FAD will put downward pressure on wholesale transmission prices, particularly in regional areas, which can be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices and new, innovative services.’