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Telstra Makes SSU Progress, But Issues Identified

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) annual report on Telstra’s compliance with its structural separation undertaking (SSU) shows that the telco continued to demonstrate a commitment to improving its level of compliance, however the report has also identified compliance issues.

The report outlines Telstra’s compliance with the SSU obligations – committing Telstra to take steps in connection with the structural reform of the communications industry – during the 2014-15 financial year.

“These include specific measures that apply until the NBN has been completed and services have been migrated from Telstra’s fixed-line access networks,” the ACCC states.

“Given the timeframe required to complete the NBN build, the SSU commitments are fundamental to promoting competitive outcomes during the transition period.”

The report identified compliance issues where Telstra breached its commitments to protect confidential or commercially sensitive wholesale customer information received in the course of supplying regulated services from being disclosed to its retail business units

The report additionally found that the telco breached its commitments to maintain operational and organisational separation of its wholesale, retail and network services businesses, to comply with some reporting requirements designed to promote transparency, and to block service orders or other requests from being processed, as required to promote migration to the NBN and to realise structural reform.

“These compliance issues largely arise due to Telstra’s legacy systems not being designed to deliver the outcomes required by the SSU, or errors made by Telstra staff in performing their day-to-day work,” ACCC chair Rod Sims commented.

“Telstra has made progress towards addressing key issues during the year, particularly in relation to its IT systems and processes to better safeguard against disclosure of protected wholesale customer information.”

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