Telstra's separation plan gets green light from Australia's ACCC

Telstra (ASX: TLS.AX) has gotten the regulatory go-ahead to take part in the country's National Broadband Network (NBN) as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has approved its revised Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) plan.

The ACCC's acceptance of comes less than a week after Telstra submitted an updated version of its SSU. A number of the telco's rivals including AAPT, iiNet, Internode and TrasACT argued that the first revised version was "fundamentally flawed."

In August, Telstra submitted its SSU and draft migration plan to the ACCC. Under the SSU, Telstra will structurally separate by July 1, 2018 and decommissioning its copper network in 2020. During that interim period, the telco had to put in place a number of provisions to ensure that wholesale competitive customers can get fair access to its network.

Among the changes included in the new SSU plan is a provision to deliver equivalent prices for its copper-based access services and exchanges via new wholesale contracts. In addition, Telstra agreed to renegotiate existing wholesale ADSL contracts if a customer requests it.

"In particular, Telstra has made substantial improvements to its interim equivalence and transparency commitments, which are intended to ensure that wholesale customers gain access to key input services on an equivalent basis to Telstra's retail business units during the transition to the National Broadband Network," said, Rod Sims, the chairperson of the ACCC.

Besides getting its SSU accepted, Telstra made another step forward with its relationship with NBN Co. by establishing a 12-month wholesale broadband agreement (WBA) with the service provider. Following agreements by Optus, Primus, iiNet and TPG, the incumbent service provider is the last large service provider to establish an agreement with NBN Co.

For more:
- Computerworld Australia has this article

Related articles:
Telstra serves up wholesale fiber service in South Brisbane
Australian competitive providers say Telstra's revised separation plan is inadequate
Telstra International extends Ethernet private line service reach
Australia's NBN reaches 4,000 connections, but critics question its financial viability

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