Telstra investigated over NBN competition breaches

The ACCC said the breaches were self-reported by the telco
Telstra investigated over NBN competition breaches

Telstra breached a number of measures to protect it from gaining a commercial advantage over its wholesale customers, according to an ACCC report.

The breaches were detailed in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) first report on the telco’s compliance with its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU), covering the period 6 March 2012 to 30 June 2012.

They included breaches involving the protection of confidential or commercially sensitive wholesale customer information which was given to Telstra.

One breach included an incorrect configuration of Telstra’s workforce management system, resulting in a “large number” of unconditioned local loop service activations which was outside the required standard.

The ACCC said the breaches were reported by Telstra to the consumer watchdog.

“While it is of concern that these breaches have occurred, the fact that these matters are now coming to light and are being addressed shows that the SSU is working,” Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, said in a statement.

The ACCC said Telstra has now taken steps to comply with the SSU, including stopping the conduct and minimising the detriment to wholesale customers by alerting them about the issues.

“However, it will take some time to complete these tasks as full remediation will involve changes to complex information and operational systems,” the ACCC said.

Telstra said the report shows the SSU is working to help promote transparency for its wholesale customers.

“[The report] includes some issues that were identified during the 2011-12 period, issues that were self-reported by Telstra and importantly there’s nothing to suggest we gained any unfair commercial advantage as a result,” it told Computerworld Australia.

We’re addressing all of the issues identified through a comprehensive IT program to remediate the relevant systems.”

An investigation by the ACCC is continuing into the breaches and looking at whether Telstra gained an unfair advantage over its wholesale customers.

The SSU was approved by the ACCC in February last year and mapped out the measures Telstra would put in place to provide transparency in the supply of services to wholesale customers during the transition to the NBN.

Telstra has been approached for comment.

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More about: ACCC, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Telstra
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