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Australia Sets Rules for Access on Incumbent's Fixed Network

In December 2005 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched an inquiry into the future regulation of wholesale access on fixed networks. It has now announced a final decision, following a public inquiry, under section 152AL of the Trade Practices Act 1974 on six fixed-line services that had been due to expire at the end of this month. The following will remain declared services until July 2014:

• unconditioned local loop service (ULLS)
• line sharing service (LSS)
• public switched telephone network originating access (PSTN OA)
• public switched terminating access (PSTN TA)
• wholesale line rental (WLR)
• local carriage service (LCS)

This is intended to ensure consumers continue to obtain the benefits of service-based competition.

With the National Broadband Network (NBN) being rolled out over the next few years, the ACCC expects significant changes to the markets. However, it wanted firstly to secure the terms of existing access regulation and secondly to be ready for any review of the regulations as and when that becomes necessary.

See the ACCC Strategic review of the regulation of fixed network services

By Ewan Sutherland, Telecommunications Policy Analyst

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