Telstra admits to refusing wholesale ADSL access

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Telstra could face a $300 million fine after admitting to contravening the Telecommunications Act by refusing wholesale access to competitors.

The incumbent operator has confessed to misleading and deceptive conduct, after preventing unbundled local loop and line sharing access to ADSL exchanges by falsely claiming they were full, The Australian said.

Regulatory body ACCC commenced federal court action in March, accusing Telstra of preventing access at seven exchanges, in thirty separate cases. It is unclear how many breaches Telstra has admitted to.

Each violation carries a maximum penalty of $10 million, and the ACCC is also seeking declarations and injunctions against the operator.

When the lawsuit was initiated in March, Telstra claimed that the refusals were the result of a faulty measuring methodology, which had since been fixed.

But Telstra has since had a change of guard. CEO Sol Trujillo, who had encouraged a combative approach to regulatory and competition issues, left in May, and his replacement, David Thodey, has taken pains to be more conciliatory.

Telstra is required to provide wholesale ADSL access to its competitors wherever spare capacity is available. This obligation was a condition of the privatization of what had been a government-owned telecom monopoly.

 

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