ARN

New review into Telstra retail price control arrangements

The ACCC launches a new inquiry into telecoms pricing control arrangements after directive from Senator Stephen Conroy

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has kicked off a public inquiry into Telstra’s retail price control arrangements.

The review was prompted by a directive from the Broadband Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, in December and comes four years after the last review. Any new arrangements made will replace the existing Telstra Carrier Charges framework and apply from July this year through to June 2012.

According to the discussion paper posted to the ACCC’s site, the review will consider the design and levels of price caps, composition of services, clarification and streamlining existing arrangements, market significance, availability and quality of services available to consumers. A key focus across all areas is the current state of competition in the market.

Any changes proposed also need to account for the transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN) and its affect on pricing policy, the regulatory watchdog stated.

Price controls on Telstra have been used since 1989 to help promote competition in the telecommunications industry and fair services pricing for consumers.

Those interested in submitting feedback have until February 12.The review is expected to be finalised by March 12.