THE WRAP: SK Telecom buys spectrum, Telstra's new NBN snag

John C. Tanner
02 Sep 2011

It was the week that saw SK Telecom score some high-priced spectrum, as Telstra hit new regulatory hurdles over the NBN and New Zealand officially turned its ISPs into copyright cops.

SK Telecom came out victorious in South Korea’s highly contested 1.8GHz spectrum auction this week, but only after paying a whopping 995 billion won ($926.3 million) for the licenses.

That’s more than double the initial bid price of 446 billion won, which is why rival operator KT finally walked away from the bidding.

It was also the week that saw the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission throw a spanner into the works for Telstra's plan to migrate its customers to the NBN, stating that the proposal cannot be accepted in its current form.

The ACCC says it’s not happy that Telstra has yet to come up with a compliance plan to structurally separate its wholesale and retail operations by 2018 – a requirement of the deal reached with NBN Co to move its customers to the NBN. Telstra said it would try to reach a détente with the ACCC before its AGM on October 18.

Telstra wasn’t the only telco hit by regulatory problems this week. Over in the US, the Justice Department filed suit to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA on the grounds that it violates anti-trust regulations.

It was also the week that saw New Zealand’s controversial “three strikes” law take effect. The law requires ISPs to send out warning notices to users caught engaging in piracy, and impose fines after the third notice. Some ISPs are worried they’ll be inundated with infringement notices, and that they’re not ready to enforce the policy in any case.

In business news for the week, NTT DoCoMo and KT rounded out their partnership deal with an agreement to share Android apps and content.

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