[LINK] last mile rent
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Apr 30 01:39:40 AEST 2009
ACCC rejects Telstra appeal
Mitchell Bingemann | April 29, 2009
THE competition watchdog has rejected a final appeal from Telstra to
charge its rivals $30 a month to use the telco's last mile copper network.
For over five years Telstra has lobbied the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission (ACCC) to impose the flat monthly access fee on other
telcos who wish to use its last mile access network to deliver telephony
and internet services to customers in metropolitan areas.
Telstra's competitors currently pay approximately $17 a month to access
the telco's copper network.
A rise in the monthly charge would effectively outprice Telstra's
competitors from offering telephony and internet services at competing
But yesterday the ACCC knocked back Telstra's appeals, describing the
charge as unreasonable.
"Following an extensive assessment of Telstra's undertaking, including
Telstra's own cost model, the ACCC is not satisfied the $30 charge for
metropolitan areas is reasonable," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
Telstra requested the charge be imposed on rental costs for the
Unconditioned Local Loop Service (ULLS) which governs about 70 per cent
of the 10 million telephony lines in metropolitan Australia.
ULL services allow Telstra's competitors to use its copper network
without any dial tone or carriage service. The services are the
underpinning of naked DSL, a high-speed broadband offering that does not
require a telephone connection to access the internet.
"The ACCC believes that Telstra's proposed price is unlikely to promote
competition in the broadband and telephony markets. It may also
discourage investment in telecommunications infrastructure," Mr Samuel
The ACCC believed the monthly payment would result in Telstra recovering
more revenue than was necessary to provide access to its copper.
It said the cost was significantly above estimates derived from
Since 2004, Telstra has submitted four undertaking applications that have
sought the regulator to impose the rental charge to rivals. All have been
Telstra rival Optus applauded the ACCC's decision but said more
regulatory reform was needed to ensure competition flourished in the
"While we welcome the ACCC's decision, in relation to Telstra's ULL price
undertaking, it yet again highlights the need for fundamental reform of
the regulatory regime," Optus regulatory affairs general manager Andrew
"We've heard rumours of a new, conciliatory approach by Telstra. We
challenge Telstra to accept the umpire's decision and to demonstrate
through action its new conciliatory' approach to government and
A Telstra spokesperson said the company was considering the decision.
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