Internet interconnection regulation

  • Internet interconnection refers to the arrangements networks make with each other to exchange internet traffic.
  • The price and terms of internet interconnection services has an impact on delivery of competitive retail broadband services.

What the ACCC does

  • We monitor access to internet connection services.
  • We assess whether access is available on competitive terms.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t set the retail prices for connecting to the internet.

About internet interconnection

To access content that originates from another network, an internet service provider needs to interconnect with that service provider.

Internet interconnection refers to the arrangements networks make with each other to exchange internet traffic.

There are 2 commercial ways that networks interconnect:

  1. directly - peering is when two networks interconnect directly with each other to exchange traffic. This is often done without any payment being exchanged
  2. indirectly via a third-party network - transit is when one network agrees to carry the traffic that flows between another network and all other networks in exchange for a fee.

In Australia, the 4 internet service providers who've had long-established peering relationships are Optus, Telstra, TPG and Verizon. In 2018, Telstra and Vocus entered into a peering relationship.

What we do in internet interconnection

The ACCC has considered issues associated with internet interconnection for many years. Our focus is on ensuring access to internet interconnection services is at prices and on terms that support the delivery of competitive retail broadband services.

In 2004, we carried out an inquiry into whether we should regulate internet interconnection services. At that time, we didn't consider there was a case for regulation.

We have since considered internet interconnection arrangements in our Communications sector market study. We published the final report in April 2018 and an update on internet interconnection in October 2018.

In line with the recommendations of our market study, the largest internet service providers publish the criteria on which they'll consider peering with other providers. These are Optus, Telstra, TPG and Verizon.  Vocus also publishes its peering criteria.

The legal basis of our functions

Our functions are in Part IV, XIB and XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Internet interconnection projects

See a complete list of telecommunications and internet projects.

Title Industry Type Status
ACCC assessment of internet interconnection arrangements Communications Update Finalised
2018

Internet interconnection refers to the arrangements individual networks make with other networks to exchange internet traffic. To access content on (or originating from) another service provider’s network, an internet service provider must interconnect directly or indirectly (via a third party network) with that service provider. The two types of commercial models for internet interconnection are transit and peering.

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