ACCC to watch Telstra exchange restrictions

Voice&Data staff

A new ruling from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires Telstra to report on third-party access to its exchanges.

Several access seekers have complained to the ACCC about Telstra restricting access to its exchanges, prohibiting them from offering services in competition to Telstra.

"There is a strong need for independent oversight of Telstra's processes to cap exchanges, to ensure that Telstra is held accountable and access seekers are not unreasonably denied access to Telstra exchanges," said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

According to the complaining access seekers, Telstra has been refusing them access to its exchanges, claiming there is not sufficient space for more providers.

When denied access the access seekers are then placed in a queue – but they said this queue has prevented them from installing equipment to provide their own ADSL2+ services.

The new ruling requires Telstra to provide the ACCC with reports on third-party access to its exchanges each month.

Telstra will have to tell the ACCC which exchanges have been capped; the reasons why; and the amount of space on each exchange reserved by Telstra for its own future services.

The telco will also have to supply the ACCC with details on where each access seeker is in its queue, as well as any changes in the queue.

According to the ACCC, the ruling was made with the support of the majority of the parties involved.

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