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ACCC Commences Wholesale ADSL Inquiry

ACCC Commences Wholesale ADSL Inquiry

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) public inquiry into whether the wholesale asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) service should continue to be regulated is underway.

The ACCC first declared access to the wholesale ADSL service in February 2012, stating at the time that declaration would “remove impediments to competitive internet service providers gaining access to Telstra’s national ADSL network on efficient terms in order to supply retail services”.

The ACCC can declare a service if satisfied that it will promote the long-term interests of end users.

The regime allows the ACCC to declare a service, after which the provider of the service is subject to standard access obligations, requiring the provider to provide access to the service to access seekers.

The ACCC is required to review the declaration before its expiration in February next year.

While the NBN rollout continues, ADSL services currently comprise Australia’s dominant fixed-line broadband technology.

“A number of changes have occurred since the wholesale ADSL service was first declared in 2012, including the progressive rollout of the National Broadband Network,” ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston commented.

“This inquiry will assist the ACCC in determining whether continued declaration of the wholesale ADSL service is in the long-term interests of end users.”

A discussion paper issued today is seeking submissions on a range of issues, which are invited by July 29, with the ACCC stating that it expects to finalise its decision in early 2017 before expiration of the current declaration.

Further information can be found here.

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