THE cost of ADSL internet retail contracts look set to remain regulated by the consumer watchdog, until the National Broadband Network is in place.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recent draft determination said it would regulate wholesale asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) services for a further five years. Without a deadline extension, the ADSL regulation would expire in February.
Telstra owns the copper network and supplies wholesale ADSL to retailers.
It appears with its draft determination, the ACCC wants to ensure competition among retailers that use that network, and limit increases to the wholesale price that Telstra can charge retailers.
“Continuing regulation will ensure network providers continue to have access to Telstra’s copper network at reasonable prices,” ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
“This will encourage them to continue competing in the retail market to develop and offer different ADSL broadband products to meet the needs of customers as they prepare to shift to the NBN.”
Broadband services using ADSL connections are widely used in regional Australia.
National Farmers Federation president NFF President Brent Finlay welcomed the ACCC announcement.
“Until the roll out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is complete, the declaration of the ADSL will (ensure) a more affordable service for the farmers and regional communities fortunate enough to be able to access it,” Mr Finlay said.
Submissions can be made to the draft decision until 14 November 2016. Visit the ACCC website for more information.