Telstra admits denying rivals access to copper network

ACCC action alledges misleading and deceptive conduct

Telstra has admitted to allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct by denying rivals access to its copper network.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged that Telstra denied competitors access to seven of its telephone exchanges by claiming there was insufficient capacity on its main distribution frames.

Telstra has admitted to an undisclosed number of the allegations, each of which holds a maximum penalty of $10 million under the Telecommunications Act.

The ACCC brought proceedings against Telstra in March, claiming 30 breaches of its standard obligations under the Trade Practices Act. The obligations state that Telstra must allow other carriers access to their Unconditioned Local Loop and Local Line services.

The Melbourne Federal Court has accepted evidence from Australian ISPs in support of the ACCC’s allegations at a directions hearing.

In May, the ACCC rejected Telstra’s December 2007 attempt to deny competitors access to its copper infrastructure and then extended its determination for a further five years in July.

The date for the next directions hearing has been set for October 2.

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