Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking

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On 27 February 2012 the ACCC accepted Telstra’s structural separation undertaking (SSU).

The SSU commenced on 6 March 2012 and contains a number of obligations designed to promote competition from that date until the NBN fibre network is complete.

Since the SSU commenced Telstra’s structural separation has occurred progressively—through Telstra ceasing to supply fixed-line voice and broadband services over its copper and HFC networks as the NBN fibre network has rolled out.

Operation of the SSU following the Designated Day

The Designated Day is the date determined for completion of the NBN fibre network after which Telstra is subject to structural separation obligations set out in its Structural Separation Undertaking (see the legislative instrument determining the Designated Day as 1 July 2020).

After the Designated Day, Telstra continues to have SSU obligations to not connect new copper or HFC services to premises in NBN Co fixed line areas that were disconnected prior to the Designated Day. Telstra is also required to maintain a compliance program to provide assurance that this occurs in practice, and provide quarterly migration plan compliance reports and annual SSU compliance reports to the ACCC.

Under the SSU, a Separation Compliance Program (SCP) came into effect after the Designated Day. The SCP addresses Telstra’s commitments made in Part C of the SSU, which require it to ensure systems and processes are in place to:

  • prevent services being provided on its legacy network where the NBN is available
  • not reconnect premises previously permanently disconnected
  • disconnect premises from the legacy network as required by Telstra's Migration Plan
  • ensure all relevant Telstra staff are aware of Telstra's obligations under the SSU
  • identify and manage any instances of non-compliance.

The ACCC is required to continue to provide annual SSU compliance reports to the Minister for Communications. For more information about the SSU annual compliance reports, please see: Telstra's structural separation undertaking.

Under section 577A(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1997, Part D of the SSU is no longer in operation after the Designated Day. Part D dealt with the interim equivalence and transparency measures to ensure equivalence and transparency in the supply of regulated services by Telstra to its wholesale and retail units.

Rectification proposals

Under clause 9(a) of the SSU Telstra has an obligation to ensure that particular aspects of retail and wholesale services will be equivalent (the ‘overarching equivalence commitment’). Under Schedule 11 to the SSU, Telstra may report possible breaches of the overarching equivalence commitment and must, no later than 30 days after reporting the possible breach, submit a proposal to the ACCC which sets out the steps that Telstra proposes to take to remedy the possible breach (a ‘rectification proposal’).

The ACCC may accept a rectification proposal or if satisfied that it does not provide an effective remedy for the possible breach, reject the rectification proposal and direct Telstra to take alternative steps to remedy the possible breach.

Related project

Assessment of Telstra's SSU & draft migration plan

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Industry reform

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