Regulators question Telstra's decision to drop fiber plan

11 Aug 2006

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it is "perplexed" by the announcement by Telstra that it has unilaterally decided to discontinue talks with the regulator over Telstra's proposed fiber-to-the-node network upgrade.
'The ACCC last received documentation from Telstra on a FTTN access service and its pricing for this new service in late June, and was awaiting details on a transition plan for access seekers from current unconditioned local loop arrangements," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, in a statement said.
The official said given that Telstra only recently said that "the discussions between it and the ACCC were 98% complete, the ACCC is perplexed that Telstra has now chosen to discontinue these discussions and withdraw its proposed fiber roll out."
Telstra earlier said it will back-out of the multi-billion-dollar FTTN project amid a continuing standoff with the ACCC on issues such as rates and plans to make the FTTN project "open" to the public.
'The ACCC would be concerned if Telstra's decision not to proceed at this time were a consequence of the ACCC's call last week to lay the FTTN plans open for public scrutiny," Samuel said.
But the ACCC said it is allowing Telstra "to recover its actual costs arising from the FTTN upgrade."

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