NBN migration: Telstra boosts SSU compliance

ACCC report notes only a handful of breaches of telco’s SSU obligations

Telstra has improved compliance with its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) obligations, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said today.

Along with the telco’s Migration Plan, which governs the migration of its customers to the NBN, the SSU is a key agreement outlining commitments by Telstra during the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

Under the SSU, Telstra is obliged to ensure that it doesn’t use wholesale customer information or the migration process to benefit its retail business.

A report released today by the ACCC assessing Telstra’s compliance in 2015-16 said that during the year the telco reported a reduced number of SSU breaches compared to previous years.

“The compliance issues discussed in this report largely arise from errors made by Telstra staff in the course of their day-to-day work which has resulted in the unauthorised disclosure of confidential or commercially sensitive information regarding wholesale customers (Protected Information),” the report states.

“Though a small number of SSU breaches have been identified, the ACCC considers that, overall, Telstra’s level of compliance has improved during the year and Telstra has responded to breaches in a positive manner,” the report states.

During the period covered by the report Telstra completed a massive IT systems remediation program to help bring it into line with its SSU obligations.

The ACCC in October signed off on the results of the program, which covered 42 IT systems and included the implementation of a compliance management framework.

“While there remain a small number of compliance issues, these are largely attributable to errors made by Telstra staff in the course of their day-to-day work or in relation to Telstra’s NBN Migration Plan, system or data quality issues,” ACCC chairperson Rod Sims said today in a statement.

Telstra in three cases reported breaches of its information security obligations during 2015-16.

The ACCC also said that it had also identified two breaches of the telco’s price equivalence and transparency obligation, which cover Telstra’s internal cost allocations and the prices it charges to wholesale customers.

(The report notes that Telstra did not consider the issues — relating to delays in updating its rate cards — to be breaches of the SSU.)

Telstra also breached some aspects of its Migration Plan obligations, the ACCC said, with problems attributed to data quality issues or human error.

“Specifically, Telstra identified a small number of instances where it supplied premises that had previously been permanently disconnected, or connected services that were not permitted under Telstra’s cease sale obligations,” the report states.

“Where breaches have occurred, Telstra has responded to these in a positive manner and the ACCC considers the remedial steps taken are likely to ensure future compliance with the SSU,” Sims said.

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Tags broadbandTelstraNetworkingnational broadband networkTelecommunicationsNational Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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