The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today published final determinations made in the arbitration of disputes over access to the Unconditioned Local Loop Service and the Line Sharing Service. The decisions were made on 20 December 2007 and were published following a compulsory legislative consultation period on publication.
The ULLS final determination specifies the monthly rental charge for which Telstra supplies the ULLS to Primus Telecom. This follows the parties being unable to agree on the ULLS monthly charge, and Primus notifying a dispute for ACCC arbitration.
The ACCC has specified a ULLS rental charge of $14.30 per service per month in metropolitan band 2 for 2007-08. The ULLS monthly rental charges specified in the determination depend on the relevant year and geographic band for the service.
Telstra had proposed a $30 per service per month ULLS rental charge in all bands. Both the ACCC (August 2006) and the Australian Competition Tribunal (May 2007) were not satisfied that such a price was reasonable. Despite these rulings, Telstra had continued to require access seekers to pay $30 per month.
The LSS final determination specifies terms of access on which Telstra supplies the LSS to Adam Internet. This follows the parties being unable to agree on those terms, and Adam Internet notifying a dispute for ACCC arbitration.
The ACCC has specified a LSS monthly charge of $2.50 per month per service, and also specified charges for which LSS services are connected or disconnected, either individually or as part of a 'managed network migration' of bulk ADSL services to the LSS. The connection and disconnection charges vary depending on year.
Telstra had proposed an LSS rental charge of $9 per service per month. Both the ACCC (December 2005) and the Australian Competition Tribunal (June 2006) were not satisfied that such a price was reasonable. Despite these rulings, Telstra had continued to require access seekers to pay $9 per month.
The prices in the Adam Internet LSS final determination are consistent with the ACCC's October 2007 LSS indicative prices. Another five LSS access disputes, notified by Primus, Amcom, TPG, Agile and Network Technology, were resolved in a manner consistent with and on the same date as the Adam Internet determination. These follow earlier LSS determinations made in July and August 2007.
"The setting of reasonable terms of access for the ULLS and LSS continues to bring significant benefits to consumers of telecommunications services," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said. "The prices set by the ACCC will ensure that consumers receive higher quality services at more reasonable prices from a greater range of service providers.
"The published determinations will provide clear guidance on what the ACCC considers to be the reasonable terms of access to the ULLS and LSS."
The charges result from applying the ACCC's longstanding and recently updated pricing principles for the ULLS and LSS, and the rulings of the Australian Competition Tribunal on ULLS and LSS pricing in May 2007 and June 2006 respectively.
The final determinations and accompanying statements of reasons will be available on the ACCC's website, www.accc.gov.au.
The ACCC continues to arbitrate several ULLS and LSS access disputes.