ACCC raises numerous concerns in Telstra separation plan

ACCC raises numerous concerns in Telstra separation plan

The watchdog states important changes are required before it accepts the telco giant's structural separation plan

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed concerns pertaining to Telstra’s structural separation undertaking (SSU) and draft migration plan.

ACCC stated Telstra’s undertaking could not be accepted in its current form and that important changes were required because it doesn't address legislative requirements.

The main area of concern for the watchdog related to the adequacy of Telstra’s proposed interim equivalence and transparency measures. It also maintains serious concerns about arrangements between Telstra and NBN Co that include the ability to vary the arrangements without further scrutiny by the watchdog.

“The ACCC’s initial view is that there needs to be a clear and enforceable commitment to an ‘equivalence of outcomes' that enables wholesale customers and Telstra’s retail businesses to gain access to key input services of equivalent quality and functionality,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

Other areas it had issues with related to provisions against Telstra promoting wireless services as a substitute for NBN Co’s fibre services and limitations on the telco’s ability to provide HFC services to new channel providers.

In a discussion paper released on August 30, the watchdog proceeded to outline further concerns including service level guarantee scheme, organisational arrangements, information security, price equivalence and transparency, Telstra exchange building access, implementation process and dispute resolution.

ACCC anticipates that Telstra will need to consider its concerns before submitting a revised structural separation undertaking that can be accepted by the watchdog.

"The ACCC’s decision on whether to accept the SSU will be based upon an overall assessment, having regard to all of the specified matters," the discussion paper said.

In a statement, Telstra said it will continue to work closely with the ACCC seeking to resolve the issues it has raised in order to accept its SSU and draft migration plan.

The structural separation of the telco giant is a key component of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

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Tags TelstraNational Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)Telstra structural separation bill

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