Telstra has submitted its structural separation undertaking (SSU) and migration plan to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as the telco prepares to separate its wholesale and retail arms by July 1, 2018.
The Government gave the company an ultimatum last year in legislative form: either voluntarily separate the business or have one forced upon them. The bill was passed in November last year.
The telco has been the bane of its competitors – which were also its wholesale customers - since it was privatised in 1997. Its ownership of the national fixed telephony network gave it a stranglehold over the fixed-line market.
Telstra’s structural separation is seen as an effective way to level the playing-field I the telecommunications industry.
NBN Co will also rely on the separation to make the National Broadband Network a success (NBN).
As mentioned previously, the separation plans involve progressively shutting down its copper network for voice and data purposes, including the HFC network, and migrating customer services onto the NBN. Timing of migration is stipulated in the migration plan.
This is part of the $11 billion agreement between NBN Co and Telstra which subsequently gives the NBN a big customer-base to work with.
In its submission to the ACCC, Telstra has also committed to setting out measures to ensure “transparency and equivalence in the supply of regulated services to its wholesale customers during the transition to the NBN”.
It includes improved reporting measures to wholesale service access seekers, rebates to wholesale customers should Telstra fail to meet certain service standards and the formation of an Independent Telecommunications Adjudicator (ITA) with appointments to be made by the ACCC.
These Federal Court enforceable undertakings is seen as an substantial and practical way of appeasing concern from the industry and regulator, Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said in a statement.
“These commitments will provide faster resolution of perceived issues and will reduce unnecessary administrative costs for all parties,” Thodey said.