Telstra Wholesale outlines SSU plans

Investigation process will be introduced to resolve equivalence issues

Telstra Wholesale has flagged that it will introduce new structural separation undertaking (SSU) measures to protect its non-Telstra Retail customers.

Speaking at the CommsDay Summit in Sydney, Telstra Wholesale executive director of sales, Glenn Osborne, said the company intended to provide its first quarterly report under the SSU by the end of July to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

In addition, it would introduce a number of measures designed to minimise conflict between Telstra’s retail business and other customers of Telstra Wholesale.

“We will introduce an accelerated investigation process to investigate non price equivalence issues and provide our wholesale customers with a speedy mechanism for resolving those issues,” he said.

Osborne added that it will establish an independent telecommunications adjudicator which will resolve disputes evolving from the NBN migration plan.

The ACCC is currently reviewing the proposed charter for the adjudicator role to be established.

The SSU, approved by the ACCC in February this year, commits Telstra to structurally separate by 1 July 2018. This will involve the decommissioning of Telstra’s copper and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) networks, and subsequent migration onto the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Providing an update on its obligations under the SSU, Osborne said that Telstra Wholesale submitted the required SSU roadmap to the ACCC on 12 April. This roadmap outlined the timeline for the migration and decommissioning processes.

“For example, we will be building new copper paths and providing an NBN information security plan. We are starting these consultations with the ACCC and our customers in mid-June to fulfil the obligations,” he said.

“In terms of equivalence, by 7 May 2012 Telstra will publish a rate card of reference prices for regulated wholesale services.

“Our SSU also includes binding commitments to deliver wholesale equivalence to customers and enhance reporting obligations which will show we are delivering on that commitment.”

In March this year, Telstra finalised its $11 billion definitive agreements with NBN Co, giving the final go-ahead for the telco’s structural separation and use of its network assets in the NBN.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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