Telstra's (ASX: TLS.AX) plan to sell off its wireline network to the National Broadband Network (NBN) is back in the hands of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which will review the service provider's revised draft of its structural separation undertaking (SSU).
The new draft of the SSU is addresses the concerns cited by its competitors and the ACCC that the initial proposal did not have enough elements in it to ensure that competitors like iiNet and Optus will have fair access to its network. Initially, these competitors and the ACCC thought Telstra's plan did not go far enough to ensure fair network access.
During the 10-year period when Telstra transitions its wireline network to the NBN, the ACCC mandated that Telstra agree to an "over-arching commitment" to competitive service providers' equal access to its network.
Later this week, the ACCC commissioners will meet to discuss if they are satisfied with the changes. If they agree with the revised SSU document, the regulator will open up the discussion again with Telstra's rivals, but they don't expect the process to take a long time.
Although Rod Sims, ACCC's chairman and David Thodey, CEO of Telstra jointly said the issues raised are "not insurmountable," the review process will likely delay the completion of its AUD 11 billion (USD 11.7 billion) deal with NBN Co. Initially, Telstra hoped to wrap up the deal by Dec. 20.
- The Australian Financial Review has this article
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