The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will commence an inquiry into the future of the fixed-line services on Telstra’s copper network.
The six existing declarations on the network are set to expire on 31 July 2019, with the commission seeking comments from interested parties until 12 October.
“The copper network remains relevant to a large number of people during the transition period to the National Broadband Network. The ACCC will consider whether continued declaration is warranted in the long-term interests of consumers.” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“Given the number of services in operation on Telstra’s copper network are rapidly declining as more consumers and businesses transition to NBN services, the ACCC is seeking to take a streamlined approach to the declaration inquiry.”
The declared services are unconditioned local loop service (ULLS), line sharing service (LSS), wholesale line rental (WLR), local carriage service (LCS) and fixed originating and terminating access services (FOAS and FTAS).
All six are “declared” services under section 152AL of the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010.
The commission will release a consultation and position paper for comment today. After considering submissions, the ACCC will consider if any further consultation is appropriate or whether to proceed to a final decision.
If the decision is to let the services continue, the commission would undertake a separate inquiry on the access terms and pricing that would apply to the declared services.
Earlier this month, the ACCC also commenced a public inquiry into whether the domestic mobile terminating access service (MTAS) declaration should be extended, changed or revoked, or if the declaration needs replacing.
The MTAS is a wholesale service that allows users on different mobile networks to make calls or send SMS to each other.