The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued its statement specifying a list of telecommunications services to which regulated access will be established from 1 July 1997 for carriers and services providers.

As a result, service providers must be provided with these deemed services, on request, from any carriers or carriage service providers supplying the services. A summary list of the deemed services is attached. It includes access services that will allow the provision of both voice and data services to customers by other carriers and service providers. This will allow service providers and new entrants to have access to similar services as are now being obtained by Optus and Vodafone from Telstra.

"We see this as an important starting point in ensuring that a suitable range of services are available to carriers and service providers which they can then use in providing a wide range of sophisticated telecommunications services to their customers", ACCC Commissioner for Telecommunications, Mr Rod Shogren, said today.

In addition to deeming access services which provide basic voice telephony, the ACCC has also chosen to deem a digital data access service which will be suitable for facilitating access for the provision of internet and frame-relay services.

"This is an important development in moving the telecommunications industry forward from the existing duopoly environment, where service providers were limited in the services they could obtain, and will promote competition in the industry by allowing new players to compete effectively with existing carriers," Mr Shogren said.

In keeping with the Governments intention to remove the exemption of pay TV carriage from the access regime, the ACCC has also deemed a carriage service for the provision of broadcasting services on cable networks. This will provide opportunities for content providers to access pay TV networks.

The ACCC has chosen not to deem transmission links between major capital cities. Such transmission services are potentially contestable in the new environment where new carriers will be able to install their own facilities. Regulated access which can involve the ACCC setting prices may distort competition developing and undermine incentives for efficient investment in transmission facilities. The deeming of AMPS resale was considered to risk unduly affecting the phaseout of the AMPS network by 2000 and increasing congestion as spectrum is withdrawn.

Copies of the statement will be available from the ACCC's Internet website statement

Further information Mr. Rod Shogren, Commissioner, (06) 264 1415 or (0414) 613 521 Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (06) 264 2808