Regulation of the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS) is set to continue for a further five years, after the current arrangement expires on 31 March 2019, as per a draft proposal put forward by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In a press release regarding the matter, the regulator said that its draft report formed part of a public inquiry under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 examining whether regulation of the DTCS should be extended. In its proposals, the ACCC has, however, called for an end to regulation in 137 metropolitan and 27 regional exchange service areas (ESAs), where it said it is now satisfied that there is effective competition due to new investment in transmission infrastructure. In addition, the regulator is also proposing to update the DTCS service description, which sets out which types of transmission services can be classified and regulated; it is looking to have separate service categories for mobile backhaul transmission and common bandwidth capacities.
Interested parties have been invited to comment on the plans by a 1 February 2019 deadline, with a final decision regarding the matter due by 31 March. Commenting, ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes was cited as saying: ‘Regulating the DTCS helps ensure access to backhaul where competition is limited, which can be particularly the case in outer metropolitan and regional areas.’