The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed interim prices for regulated transmission services.
The interim access determination (IAD) offers price and non-price terms for the declared domestic transmission capacity service, which expire on December 31 this year.
Interim prices for regulated transmission services have been determined by benchmarking current prices of competitive transmission services based on information provided by the suppliers of transmission services.
Telstra provides more than 80 per cent of transmission services measured either by revenue or number of services.
While the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS) is often referred to as ‘backhaul’, DTCS is limited by the scope (both in terms of technology and geography) of the service description and only represents one of a number of backhaul options commonly used in communications networks.
According to the watchdog, benchmarking current prices reflects existing market conditions and different price structures across regions.
“This produces a range of IAD prices across both capacity and distance. Some pricing outcomes from the benchmarking (where prices decrease over longer distances or at higher capacities) may appear counter intuitive to the general, well recognised observation that transmission prices increase with both capacity and distance,” ACCC said in a statement. “However, these reflect the way that inter-regional centre transmission is routed which may be direct or via state capital cities.”
The ACCC expects that prices will change as the market develops and expects further input from stakeholders during the public inquiry associated with the final access determination.
However, the ACCC considers that in the interim, the IAD will provide the required level of regulatory certainty until a final access determination is made.
“Today represents an important milestone in implementing the new telecommunications access regime,” ACCC acting chairman, Michael Schaper, said. “The ACCC has now set interim price and non-price terms for regulated transmission services, the backbone links of modern communications networks. While parties can negotiate their own terms and conditions, the interim access determination provides a clear safety net when negotiating commercial terms and conditions for important backhaul links.”