Telstra - Application for domestic PSTN originating access services exemptions

Project overview

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On 29 October 2008 the ACCC made two individual exemption orders exempting Telstra from the standard access obligations in respect of the supply of the Public Switched Telephone Network Originating Access (PSTN OA) service. The individual exemptions are subject to certain conditions and limitations and apply to:

  • 248 metropolitan exchange service areas
  • 17 CBD exchange service areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The ACCC also made a class determination in respect of the supply of the PSTN OA in the same exchange service areas as the two individual exemptions.

Enquiries about the PSTN OA exemption application process should be directed to Melanie Rainey on 03 9290 1868 or melanie.rainey@accc.gov.au.

Timeline

Stages Date

Background

In June 1997 the ACCC declared the domestic PSTN OA service. In July 2006 the ACCC re-declared the PSTN OA for a period of three years.

On 8 October 2007 Telstra provided the ACCC with an exemption application from the standard access obligations in respect of the PSTN OA in 17 exchange service areas in central business districts (CBDs). Telstra also provided a second exemption application in respect of the PSTN OA in 387 exchange service areas across metropolitan Australia. Telstra provided a submission supporting both exemption applications, along with confidential witness statements and reports.

Telstra provided a public version of the submission supporting the exemption applications shortly after lodging the exemption applications. On Friday 12 October 2007, Telstra also provided public versions of a report by CRA on the economic considerations for the exemptions as well as Telstra employee witness statements at Annexure B, D, E, H, J and N of its submission. Telstra has stated it will not be providing public versions of the documents at Annexure C, F, G, I, K, L, M and O of its submission, as the extent of masking is so extensive that the public versions are of no assistance.

Telstra has stated that it is prepared to provide confidential versions of the submission and all attachments to people who sign confidentiality undertakings in an appropriate form. Telstra has nominated Paul McLachlan as Telstra’s contact for this application.

A Microsoft Word copy of the confidentiality undertaking can be found below for parties wishing to gain access to Telstra’s confidential documents. The signed confidentiality undertaking should be sent to Paul McLachlan at Paul.McLachlan@team.telstra.com and copied to Melanie Rainey of the ACCC at melanie.rainey@accc.gov.au.

The exemption applications and the public versions of the submission, CRA report and six Telstra employee witness statements are available.

On 30 October 2007 the ACCC issued a discussion paper on Telstra’s exemption applications. Written submissions in response to the discussion paper were requested by Friday 14 December 2007. A public version of the discussion paper is available.

On 30 November 2007 Telstra provided the ACCC with two further confidential Telstra employee witness statements. Telstra has stated that it is prepared to provide these witness statements to parties who sign the confidentiality undertaking in an appropriate form.

On 12 March 2008 the ACCC made a request for further information under s. 152AU of the Act to Telstra. The information request is available.

On 21 May 2008 Telstra responded to the 12 March 2008 information request. Public versions of the submission and supporting documents are available.

On 21 May 2008 Telstra also provided a submission to the ACCC in response to the Nicholls Legal (CCC) submission to all Telstra declaration exemptions. A copy of the response is available.

On 5 June 2008 Telstra provided a supplementary submission to the ACCC. Public versions of the submission and supporting documents are available.

On 27 June 2008 Telstra provided a supplementary submission to the ACCC. This submission was a report authored by Dr Paul Paterson. A copy of the submission is available.

On 17 July 2008 Telstra was informed of the ACCC's decision to extend the statutory decision-making timeframe under subsection 152AT(12). The letter is available.

On 5 August 2008 Telstra provided the ACCC with a confidential witness statement and attachment in relation to the SIOs affected by the presence of pair gain systems as at June 2008. Telstra has stated that it will not be providing a public version of the witness statement, as the extent of masking is so extensive that the public version would be of no assistance. Telstra has stated that it is prepared to provide the information to interested parties who sign confidentiality undertakings in an appropriate form.

On 5 September 2008 the ACCC released a draft decision on Telstra’s PSTN OA exemption applications, proposing to grant Telstra exemptions from its standard access obligations. The exemptions proposed by the ACCC were not as broad as that requested by Telstra.

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