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Watchdog puts legacy wholesale telco prices on hold

Watchdog puts legacy wholesale telco prices on hold

The decision means that wholesale prices for non-NBN fixed line services will reduce in real terms over the next five years

Credit: Dreamstime

Resellers of legacy telecommunications services won’t have to worry about wholesale price increases any time soon, with the competition watchdog putting a hold on prices for several fixed line wholesale services. 

The seven declared services, which predominantly supplied by Telstra, that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to put the price hold on include: the unconditioned local loop service (ULLS); line sharing service (LSS) and; wholesale line rental (WLR).

The decision also extends to the local carriage service (LCS), fixed originating and terminating access services (FOAS and FTAS), and wholesale ADSL.

The ACCC said on 1 November that it had decided to maintain existing price and non-price terms until 30 June 2024 for the seven declared, or regulated, fixed line wholesale services.

According to the ACCC, the decision means that wholesale prices for non-National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed line services will reduce in real terms over the next five years.

“Our decision will provide real price reductions and certainty for the industry in relation to voice and broadband services which are still being provided through Telstra’s copper network and other legacy infrastructure,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

“Although the NBN rollout is almost finished, RSPs will still need to use these legacy networks to provide services to some consumers for a few more years.

“Maintaining the current prices and other terms of access will give the industry some certainty and stability as the NBN migration continues,” he said. 

It is expected that the pricing decision is likely to be the last by the ACCC in relation to such fixed line services, with the NBN due to be completed in June 2020. Most end customers will have 18 months to switch from Telstra’s legacy networks to the NBN, with migration expected to be largely complete by 2022.

After the migration, according to the ACCC, only a small number of services will remain connected to these legacy networks.

The price hold decision will come into effect on 15 November 2019.


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