The Competitive Carrier’s Coalition (CCC) called on all parties to commit to the following four policy pillars:
1. Structural reform to properly and effectively separate Telstra’s wholesale and retail businesses At a minimum this must mean that Telstra’s retail businesses buy access to the same wholesale services on the same prices, terms and conditions as other telecommunications companies. This includes using the same IT ordering and service management systems.
2. Changes to regulatory arrangements without structural reform are not adequate The Federal Court decision last week [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Telstra Corporation Limited] demonstrates that the only adequate action is to remove Telstra’s incentives to discriminate against competitors and, therefore, address the deep and persistent problems with competition.
3. Any fibre-based access network must be structurally separated from any retail service provider. This is important because the topography of a fibre-based access network makes impractical the existing regulations designed to give competitors access to customers via so-called unbundling options. Without these options, a move to a vertically integrated fibre network would result in a rapid collapse of competition even in cities, and leave Australians at the mercy of a monopoly communications provider.
4. Issues such as access to content and the dangers of anti-competitive bundling must be addressed. Horizontal integration and market power are emerging as a powerful inhibitor to future competition.