Recent developments in Australia’s wholesale market for internet interconnection services will boost competition in the supply of internet connectivity and hosted services to corporate and government customers, and lead to a better online experience for end-users, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has suggested. In a press release regarding the matter, the ACCC highlighted the fact that Optus, Telstra, and TPG have all now published the criteria on which they will consider peering with other ISPs, detailing the requirements other providers need to achieve in order to directly interconnect with them on a settlement free basis. Notably, Telstra has already entered into a peering relationship with Vocus, it was noted.
Meanwhile, the ACCC has also issued an update on its assessment of whether access to internet interconnection services is available on competitive terms. In this, the regulator said it had not identified any clear evidence of anticompetitive conduct by Optus, Telstra or TPG in the supply of internet interconnection services. It did note, however, that the information it has collated ‘suggests that there was a strong incentive for Optus, Telstra and TPG to maintain the status quo in relation to their long-standing peering arrangements, resulting in an unwillingness to peer with other internet service providers’. Despite this – citing recent developments in the peering arrangements and, in particular, Telstra and Vocus entering into a peering relationship – at this time, the ACCC does not consider there to be a case for commencing a declaration inquiry into internet interconnection services under Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act.