The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today updated the Exemption Exchange Service Areas (ESAs) List, following the second round of exemptions calculations.
From 30 June 2011, there will be a further 52 ESAs in which Telstra will be exempt from the standard access obligations for the provision of:
- the declared wholesale line rental (WLR)
- local carriage service (LCS), and
- public switched telephone network originating access (PSTN OA) services.
In practice this means once the exemptions take effect access seekers can no longer rely on regulated access to the services in these ESAs and must commercially agree the terms and conditions of access.
This is the second round of exemptions calculated by the ACCC in accordance with the Australian Competition Tribunal’s WLR, LCS and PSTN OA Individual Exemption orders made in 2009. The orders require the ACCC to prepare and publish the Exemption ESA List on a six monthly basis, using information provided by Telstra and access seekers. The latest round of calculations were undertaken by the ACCC based on information which was current as at 30 September 2010.
In June 2010, the ACCC completed the first round of calculations and published a list of 129 ESAs that had met the requirements of the Tribunal’s orders to become ‘Exemption ESAs’. The exemption of those 129 Exemption ESAs takes effect from 30 December 2010.
These new calculations take the total list to 181 Exemption ESAs. However, the list of 181 Exemption ESAs is not of itself definitive as certain conditions and limitations imposed by the Tribunal must also be satisfied, or the exemptions will not take effect.
The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Act 2010 (CACS Act) introduced significant changes to the access regime at Part XIC of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The transitional provisions of that CACS Act provide that the exemptions continue to operate in their current form until the first access determination is made for each of the relevant declared services. The ACCC will consider the future operation of the orders as part of the process relating to access determinations and advise industry accordingly in early 2011.
The Tribunal's orders, including conditions and limitations, and the list of Exemption ESAs can be found at: Australian Competition Tribunal orders in relation to WLR, LCS & PSTN OA service access exemption
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