Commission welcomes Telstra's HDSL products

Telstra's newly launched High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL) service provides a partial resolution to competitors' complaints about services across Telstra's copper access infrastructure according to Rod Shogren, commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

"The [HDSL] addresses some of our concerns about services provided over Telstra's copper infrastructure," Shogren said.

ACCC's concerns stem from complaints received in 1998 that Telstra was withdrawing services over its copper infrastructure and forcing competitors to use expensive data services instead.

Telstra claimed that it could not guarantee services over copper wiring due to work being undertaken under its network modernisation program, involving replacement of copper with fibre optic cable.

"The new [HDSL] service allows service providers in central business districts to deploy cheap, high-speed data services without worrying about changes to Telstra's network. However, I remain concerned that service providers outside the CBD, or with different needs, could still be adversely affected by such changes," Shogren said.

"Industry has expressed continuing concern about the uncertainty caused by Telstra's network modernisation program. Telstra needs to reassure its wholesale customers that changes to its network need not threaten their deployment of innovative services which compete with Telstra products," he added.

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