ACCC commences DTCS and fixed line services review

Inquiry launches as a result of telco industry changes since 2009

Competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has commenced declaration inquiries for the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS) and six fixed line services.

The DTCS is a type of transmission service, often used by telecommunications companies to carry large volumes of voice, data and video traffic across long distances.

The DTCS declaration inquiry will determine whether the DTCS should continue to be regulated. The current DTCS declaration covers most transmission routes in Australia, other than where the ACCC has found effective competition between transmission providers.

The fixed line services allows other telecommunications companies to use Telstra's existing copper network facilities to provide voice and broadband services to retail customers.

The six declared fixed line services under review are: the unconditioned local loop service (ULLS); the line sharing service (LSS); the public switched telephone network originating access (PSTN OA); the public switched telephone network terminating access (PSTN TA); the local carriage service (LCS); and the wholesale line rental (WLR) service.

ACCC Commissioner, Joe Dimasi, said the inquiry was launched as there have been important changes in the Australian telecommunications industry since the last time these services were declared in 2009.

“The reviews will assist the ACCC in determining whether the DTCS and the fixed line services should remain regulated to ensure the long-term interests of end-users are met,” he said.

If the ACCC decides to continue to regulate the DTCS, it will commence a separate inquiry in early 2014 into the prices and other terms and conditions that should apply to the declared service.

The ACCC is also formally commencing an inquiry into the terms on which fixed line services are supplied in addition to final access determinations (FADs) for fixed line services.

Submissions for the DTCS inquiry are invited by August 30 and submissions for the fixed line services inquiry are invited by August 23.

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