The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a discussion paper seeking stakeholders' views on the access regime that will apply to 'Channel B', one of the two licences for new digital television services that will be made available by the government next year.
Possible uses for Channel B include mobile television and new services to in-home digital television sets.
Firms must have lodged an access undertaking that has been accepted by the ACCC before being eligible to participate in the allocation process for Channel B. The allocation process itself will be managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
"The ACCC is seeking stakeholder input on the optimal way to ensure the access regime for Channel B enables effective competition between access seekers and the channel B licensee", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "It will be important to minimise any scope for the licensee to frustrate the provision of access."
"The ACCC will be responsible for assessing access undertakings submitted by potential bidders for Channel B. Following the allocation of the licence to the successful bidder, the ACCC will have an ongoing role in overseeing the access regime, including any subsequent variations of the undertaking.
"Potential bidders for either licence should also note that they may need to request clearance from the ACCC under s. 50 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 prior to the allocation of the licences."
The discussion paper is available on the ACCC website. Interested stakeholders are requested to make submissions by 5 February 2007. Details of the submission process can be found in the discussion paper.
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