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Cheap Broadband Internet Plans Deals and Special Offers

Cheap broadband plans, or Internet deals, don’t always fit the description that you’re looking for, after all you need to be careful of the ‘hidden’ terms and conditions and pitfalls that some Internet Service Providers place on their broadband offerings. Fortunately, and thanks to consumer protective associations such as the ACCC, many broadband providers have cleaned up their act and as a result, most of their broadband products are now more transparent.

When considering a cheap broadband plan these days, I believe it’s almost as important for the consumer to know what they require from a plan let alone their concerns of being taken for a ride. The main two factors that come into mind are ‘data limits’ and ‘flexibility’. Firstly, you need to know how much data are you going to use – Will it be enough? What if it’s not and I have to move up or down? Will I get charged to do this? These questions lead me to the second factor of Flexibility – This option can be very handy to have when needing to move up and down through various plans/data limits or perhaps to move on to another provider.

Remember, cheapest is not always best, especially when it comes to mobile broadband as this product can vary dramatically in quality. However in the case of fixed line broadband, if you’re content with the factors that I spoke of (data limits and flexibility), you have more of a chance of getting yourself a cheap broadband plan that you may be happy with.

ACCC concerned with Telstra NBN Deal

Telstra ACCC agreement before shareholder vote in doubt

Telstra have advised the ASX that they do not expect the ACCC to approve their plans to structurally separate the company and transfer 10 million fixed line customers on to the NBN Co’s new fibre network before their upcoming shareholders vote.

The two biggest hurdles that Telstra need to clear before it can reap the $11 billion deal with the NBN Co are still up in the air although the Telco remains confident that they will eventually get there.

The first issue was to have the structural separation plans approved by the ACCC prior to the shareholder vote on October 18. This has yet to be resolved, however Telstra have declared they will still proceed with the second hurdle, which is to take their separation proposal to the shareholders at the upcoming annual meeting.

“We do not expect ACCC approval will be received before the AGM,” Telstra told the ASX.

Updated by Ronnie on October 3, 2011

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Despite all the recent media speculation stating that the ACCC was deeply concerned with Telstra’s structural separation submission and that it may set back the National Broadband Network roll out, Telstra CEO David Thodey has come out and quashed all reports by stating that the Telco is still on track to reach a deal with the competition watchdog very soon.

“It’s no change to what we’ve said before,” he said. “We’ve got some work to do and we’re working productively with (the ACCC).”

Mr Thodey said that he expects approval from Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to be reached in time before the Telxo brings it’s retail and wholesale structural separation plans to a shareholder vote on October 18, 2011.

Updated by Ronnie on September 9, 2011

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Telstra CEO David Thodey admitted that he wasn’t surprised with the ACCC’s warning about the Telco’s structural separation plans. This statement comes as a direct result from the recent concerns aired by the ACCC in relation to Telstra’s wireless services competing against the NBN Co’s upcoming national broadband network.


According to an article at Computerworld, Mr Thodey stated that… “The ACCC has raised a number of concerns but they do not really come as a surprise to us at all,” and… “We to believe the issues can be resolved in away consistent with our principle of protecting shareholder value and the company will continue to work closely with the ACCC to address the concerns with a view to obtaining acceptance to the structural separation undertaking and draft migration plan before the AGM on 18 October 2011.”


Telstra and the ACCC have been in regular consultation over the structural separation of the Telecommunication provider. So I suspect that the emergence of these recent events will not in any way hinder the separation process nor the upcoming shareholder vote.


Updated Friday 02/09/2011


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A fundamental component for the Government’s vision of a National Broadband Network to become a reality is the structural separation of Telstra. This has now hit a major hurdle with the ACCC flagging concerns over Telstra’s plans to restructure the company.


It was expected that Telstra’s submission to the ACCC would pave the way to an $11 billion deal with the NBN Co to share it’s vital infrastructure. However a green light from the competition regulator has not been granted as they are concerned with the Telco’s pre-conditional promise of ‘not competing’ with the NBN through its wireless services offerings.


This concern could be a major setback for the NBN’s development schedule and Telstra’s structural separation plans unless immediate action is taken by the Telco to make important changes to their proposal. Although this latest issue should not halt NBN proceedings entirely, it still managed to unsettle investors as Telstra shares took a dive after the announcement was made.


Opposition communication spokesman Malcolm Turnbull didn’t waste any time to attack the integrity of the Government by stating the comments showed the Government was putting its political interests ahead of the national interest. While the Minister of Communication Stephen Conroy said this issue was a matter for the ACCC and he looked forward to the final determination.


Telstra lodge separation documents with ACCC

In what’s expected to take seven years to complete, Telstra have taken a huge step toward finalising their structural separation plans by lodging detailed documents with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission on how the Telco will undertake the transformation.

Almost coinciding with the NBN target date of completion, in which most Australian premises will have been migrated away from Telstra’s copper PSTN to the national broadband network, Telstra is expected to commit to the completion of the restructure by 1st July 2018.

Read more about Telstra lodging separation document with the ACCC at iTWire.com

New ACCC Access Guidelines for ADSL Exchanges

Migrating to Unbundled Local Loop services (ULL) such as ‘Naked DSL’ products from Line Sharing services should only take a maximum of three hours says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after reviewing Telephone Exchange capping. This is only one of the new guidelines expected to be overhauled for the upcoming NBN regulatory framework.

The ACCC has recently acted upon mountaing complaints from Telstra’s rival Telecommunication Providers who argue that Telco is blatantly lying about the number of ports available at their ADSL Exchanges. Installing DSLAM equipment and DSL infrastructure at the ADSL Exchanges has also been a nightmare for frustrated ISP’s, especially after waiting in line for months (sometimes over a year) to be told by Telstra that the Exchange has been declared full.

If the NBN is to succeed for the public and provider alike, all Australian ADSL Exchanges will need to be facilitated through regulatory rules. This way every Broadband Provider and Broadband user can be guranteed a fair and prosperous Broadband Industry for all.

Telstra under attack over ADSL2+ Access

Telstra wholesale has just come into the ‘line of fire’ as nine of Australia’s other major Telecommunication Providers such as Optus, Internode, iiNet and Westnet lash out at Telstra and accuse them of anti competitiveness and shutting down their $2.5 billion wholesale arm.


In a letter to the ACCC drafted on behalf of the frustrated Telco’s, alleged impediments on Telstra’s monopoly and anti competitive nature have been cited for the following reasons: Capped Exchanges, Lengthy DSLAM approval and installation delays & Untenable high wholesale pricing.


Penalties as much as $10 million for each offence and a further $1 Million for each day the company remains in breach could be imposed.

The protesting ISPs, which include iinet, Internode, TCN Communications and Westnet, issued a nine-page letter to ACCC chairman Graham Samuel, requesting the ACCC to issue an urgent Competition Notice under Part XIB of the Trade Practices Act 1974. Additionally, it urges the commission to re-examine declaring regulatory access to all DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband services, especially in areas where competition through alternative broadband platforms is unviable.

“This substantial lessening of competition will clearly have an adverse impact on consumers, both in terms of price and the range of services available to them in the long term,” he said. “For this reason, 10 erstwhile competitors have put their differences aside to urge the ACCC to start an investigation about issuing a Competition Notice.”


Source: ITnews.com.au article

Internode ‘Please Explain’ Telstra ADSL2+ plans

With the recent news of Telstra enabling a further 900 Exchanges with ADSL2+ access, also comes doubt over the legality behind the ‘regulatory guarantee’ that Senator Conroy has granted to Telstra.


Managing Director of Internode ‘Simon Hackett’ claims that after making enquiries with respective agencies in regards to the recent announcement, he is puzzled by the legalities behind the guarantee. He’s also suggested that the Federal Government publish the precise contents behind the guarantee with Telstra along with a legal explanation.


“Years of precedent and practice (multiple Competition Notices) have made it clear that where Telstra offers a monopoly retail broadband service, they are required to offer it at wholesale, and at an access price that is tenable


“All existing BigPond Retail services are offered as a wholesale access version to the market in accordance with the above


“So if Telstra has been ‘guaranteed’ not to be required to be good wholesale citizens, what is to stop them withdrawing from the entire wholesale ADSL market – at all speeds, in all exchanges, nationally?,”


“And how, on earth, is the resulting rise in access cost for the 50% of non-BigPond ADSL consumers (as BigPond are the most expensive retail DSL provider in the market) going to be in the long term interests of those end users?


Read the entire article at APCMag.com

Telstra to enable 900 ADSL2+ Exchanges

In potentially good news for those in regions where Broadband speeds are limited, Telstra today released a surprise announcement stating that it will enable a further 900 telephone exchanges with ADSL2+ services.


The decision to enable the additional ADSL2+ exchanges has been brought about by a recent letter sent to Telstra from Communications Minister ‘Senator Stephen Conroy’ who stated that the Federal Government would not force Telstra to provide ADSL2+ services to competitors.


Fast broadband technology using ADSL2+ is to be rolled out by Telstra to an additional 900 local exchanges serving 2.4 million households, the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced today. – Gov. Media Release


“This initiative provides the bandwidth families need so they can simultaneously use several devices at home – one parent can download work files, another can plan the family holiday online, while the kids are also online researching for school projects,” – Mr Trujillo


“As a result of this advice, I concluded that there is a high degree of regulatory certainty in relation to the ACCC’s approach to wholesale ADSL2+ services. I have written to Telstra expressing my position, acknowledging that I agree with the ACCC’s stance. – Stephen Conroy


Telstra Media Release
Government Media Release
Letter from Conroy to Sol

ACCC reject G9 Proposal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has rejected a G9 Proposal on Broadband pricing for a new fibre-to-the-node network. The main reason for doing so revolved around the unclear pricing that would come into play after the initial three year period was up. Although the proposal was rejected, the Optus led G9 consortium will still be able to revise the price undertakings and re-submit them to the ACCC for scrutiny again.


“We could not accept so much discretion from a gas, electricity or rail firm. Access seekers would not know where they stood,” said the ACCC.

More important in the ACCC’s response to G9 today was not what the regulator knocked back, but what it accepted – namely the pricing and the proposed vertical separation.


Read the entire article at BusinessSpectator.com.au

ACCC Lowers Line Sharing Prices

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released it’s final declaration decision that will witness Line Sharing prices drop to a respectable $2.50 per service at the start of 2008. After several years at loggerheads with Telstra over LSS prices, the Telco giant succumbed to the Watchdog’s continual pressure and reduced pricing from it’s initial  $15 per month proposal in 2004, down to $2.50 per service. The pricing should be available to everyone and come into effect as from January 1, 2008 until July 31, 2009. A great decision all round for the Broadband Industry, competition, independent ISPs and the consumer.


“The ACCC’s final decision is to regulate the LSS on a national basis until 31 July 2009. Declaration of the LSS will be in the long-term interests of end users,” ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.


“The ACCC’s final view is that regulation of the LSS will promote competition in broadband markets. This will allow consumers to choose from a wider range of broadband service providers, increasing their opportunity to gain a more competitive service-price offering.”


Read the entire ‘ACCC issues final decision on regulation of the Line Sharing Service’ announcement at the ACCC.gov.au

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