Telstra has been given a helping hand from the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission with an additional 52 exchange service areas (ESAs) set to be made exempt from standard access obligations.
The move means access-seekers such as Internet Service Providers cannot get regulated access to Telstra exchanges and must pay commercial rates instead. The changes will commence from June 30, 2011.
According to the ACCC, this announcement brings the total number of exempted ESAs to 181.
But it’s a far cry from the 387 ESAs Telstra requested exemptions for in 2007. The telco had argued that competition between itself and rivals had developed to a point that allowed for commercially-organised access, rather than regulated access.
The ACCC’s statement acknowledged changes resulting from the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Act 2010 (CACS Act) passing through Parliament and said it would advise relevant industries of the effects by early 2011.