On 4 July 2016 the ACCC released a discussion paper commencing a public inquiry into whether the wholesale asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) service should continue to be declared.
A number of changes have occurred since the wholesale ADSL service was first declared in 2012, including the progressive rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and increasing use of fixed-line broadband services to download data.
The discussion paper sought submissions on a range of issues relevant to the inquiry including:
- the ACCC’s proposed assessment framework
- whether continued declaration is in the long-term interests of end-users, including whether it is likely to promote competition, achieve any-to-any connectivity and encourage the economically efficient use of, and investment, in infrastructure
- issues to be considered if declaration of the service is continued including the appropriate scope of the declaration, and the length of the regulatory period.
Submissions were due by 29 July 2016.
On 14 October 2016 the ACCC released a report of its draft decision for public comment.
On 29 November 2016, the ACCC identified an error in the drafting of the service description included in this report and notified relevant stakeholders. The ACCC seeks to clarify that the relevant service description being considered in the context of this inquiry is that set out in the current declaration instrument:
"The wholesale asymmetric digital subscriber line service (wholesale ADSL service) is an internet-grade, best efforts point to point service for the carriage of communications in digital form between a point of interconnection and an end-user network boundary that:
- is supplied by means of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology over a twisted metallic pair that runs from the end-user network boundary to the nearest upstream exchange or RIM or CMUX; and
- uses a static layer 2 tunnelling protocol (L2TP) over a transport layer to aggregate communications to the point of interconnection."