ACCC ensures greater access to Telstra's ISDN

20 August 1998
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today decided to 'declare' services supplied by Telstra using its Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)*. Businesses and residential consumers across Australia using these services will benefit from today's ACCC decision.

The decision effectively means that Telstra, the only provider of ISDN services, will be required to supply these services to other service providers on terms that ultimately can be arbitrated by the ACCC, if the parties cannot otherwise agree.

Declaration will give service providers stronger bargaining power in their negotiations with Telstra over access to ISDN services. This will enable them to supply competing ISDN and other data services such as frame relay to end-users.

"The ultimate beneficiaries will be end-users. The ACCC believes that declaration will lead to a better range of data services at lower prices for end-users," Mr Rod Shogren, Commissioner with responsibilities for telecommunications said today.

"Data and related services are one of the fastest growing areas of the telecommunications industry. This decision will ensure that Telstra's competitors are guaranteed access to a service which is likely to become increasingly important as Australia's information economy develops."

The decision follows a public inquiry into competition in data markets during which the ACCC examined whether to declare ISDN services, along with proposed variations to the declarations for transmission capacity and digital data access services. As part of this inquiry, the ACCC considered submissions received from interested parties, undertook market inquiries, commissioned a report on technical issues and released draft declaration reports for industry comment.

The ACCC has previously announced decisions in respect of the transmission capacity and digital data access services, and expects to issue its final report on the inquiry within the next four weeks. The report will be available on its website, www.accc.gov.au.


* The ISDN is used for the carriage of information such as voice, data, high quality sound, text, still images and video. It is a digital communications service which uses the same copper wire lines used for standard telephone services.

Release number: 
MR 159/98
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Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108