Proposed variation to class exemptions for wholesale voice services

14 October 2009

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today released a draft decision proposing to vary the class exemptions granted in August and October 2008 for the wholesale line rental (WLR), local carriage service (LCS) and public switch telephone network originating access (PSTN OA) services. The effect of the variations would be to align the obligations of Telstra and other providers of these services.

The class exemptions exempt providers other than Telstra from the requirement to comply with the standard access obligations in the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to the supply of these wholesale voice services in certain metropolitan areas.

The original class exemptions were granted when the ACCC made the individual exemption orders for Telstra's supply of the WLR, LCS, and PSTN OA services. The class exemptions were designed to be consistent with the dates and areas of operation specified in the individual exemption orders. The ACCC considered that granting the class exemptions would promote the long term interests of end-users by ensuring that all access providers, including Telstra, would have the same incentives to invest in wholesale voice services.

Following the decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal to vary the individual exemption orders, the ACCC considers the class exemptions should be varied to ensure the dates and the areas of practical operation are consistent with the individual exemption orders.

The ACCC invites submissions to the draft decision by 23 October 2009.

A copy of the draft decision is available on the ACCC website.

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Release number: 
NR 256/09
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