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Australia kicks off inquiry into wholesale data services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started a public inquiry to determine whether declaration of the domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS) remains appropriate in light of changes to the market, including the growth of commercial alternatives available to service providers, new National Broadband Network (NBN) products for business customers, and industry consolidation. The ACCC says transmission services are high capacity, wholesale data services. “They are an essential input into many retail telecoms services, including mobile, residential broadband and business. They are also used to aggregate and transport large volumes of voice, data and video traffic. This is often referred to as backhaul.”

The DTCS declaration is due to expire on 31 March 2019. The ACCC is required under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to conduct a review of the DTCS declaration within 18 months of the expiry of the declaration. The ACCC notes many service providers are now acquiring non-regulated commercial domestic transmission services in preference to the regulated DTCS service. Since the DTCS was last declared, the NBN has announced a number of new business enterprise products, and the introduction of 5G networks could offer an alternative technology over which high capacity short distance transmission services may be delivered.

“This declaration inquiry takes place at an important time for the communications market. The NBN rollout has progressed significantly since we last looked at the domestic transmission market and we need to examine the impact that NBN services are having on competition within the transmission market,” ACCC head, Rod Sims, said. The ACCC adds that during another inquiry into whether domestic mobile roaming should be declared, the ACCC received a number of submissions about transmission costs and decisions to deploy or upgrade mobile networks in regional areas. “As we indicated during that inquiry, we will consider whether transmission services used for the supply of mobile services in remote and regional Australia should be considered separately to other transmission services,” Sims said. Read more

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

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