ACCC calls on Telstra to revise ‘pull through process’

8 Apr 2013

Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra has been directed to improve two specific measures in the ‘pull through process’ stipulated as part of its plan to migrate customers to the in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN).

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2012 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) published a discussion paper calling for submissions on the measures. The regulator at that date noted that in some ‘limited circumstances’ the company overseeing the construction and management of the fibre infrastructure, NBN Co, ‘may need to use an existing copper or HFC line to pull the NBN fibre through the conduit that leads from the street to the premises to connect that premise to the NBN’. As part of the migration plan, Telstra is required to set out procedures for collecting consent from wholesale customers to pull through lines over which they are providing services, as well as outlining what happens if the process is not successful.

According to the Business Spectator, in the latest development Telstra has been called on to improve measures that relate to the collection of consent of its wholesale customers for NBN Co to pull through lines over which existing services are being provided. Further, the incumbent has also been told it must notify wholesale customers if the pull through process is not successful. Commenting on the matter, ACCC commissioner Ed Willett said: ‘The successful migration of services to the NBN will also require the involvement and cooperation of all retail service providers and NBN Co … The ACCC issued this direction as it considers that Telstra’s proposed processes would not provide appropriate protections to consumers and competition during migration.’ Telstra is now required to amend the process to address the concerns that have been raised following which it must resubmit it to the ACCC within 40 business days.