The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to keep the current pricing of non-NBN fixed line wholesale services until 2024.
The commission said the decision will reduce wholesale prices for those services in real terms during the period.
The services, predominantly supplied by Telstra on its copper network, include unconditioned local loop service (ULLS), line sharing service (LSS), wholesale line rental (WLR), local carriage service (LCS), fixed originating and terminating access services (FOAS and FTAS) and wholesale ADSL.
The ACCC began an inquiry in August 2018 into the future of the services (excluding wholesale DSL), which were at the time set to expire on 31 July 2019.
“Our decision will provide real price reductions and certainty for the industry in relation to voice and broadband services which are still being provided through Telstra’s copper network and other legacy infrastructure,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
The commission also expects this would be its last decision on the matter, aligned with its own expectation on the completion of the NBN’s rollout on June 2020, as well as the 18 months given to customers to switch to the government-owned network. The ACCC expects customer migration to be “mostly done” by 2022.
“Although the NBN rollout is almost finished, RSPs will still need to use these legacy networks to provide services to some consumers for a few more years,” Sims said.
“Maintaining the current prices and other terms of access will give the industry some certainty and stability as the NBN migration continues.”