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Optus welcomes ACT decision on line sharing
02 Jun 2006

Paul Fletcher, Director of Optus Corporate and Regulatory Affairs said today's decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) is a comprehensive rebuff for Telstra's push to re-monopolise the local loop.

"In 2004 Telstra lodged an undertaking proposing high prices for 'line sharing'. When the ACCC rejected the prices as too high, Telstra appealed the decision to the ACT.

"In today's decision, the Tribunal has firmly backed the ACCC’s rejection of Telstra's greedy pricing," Mr Fletcher said.

"Of critical significance is that this decision has major implications for unbundled local loop service (ULLS) pricing.

"The ACT concluded that the 'the cost allocation should be over all active DSL lines' and that it does not consider 'the use of a four year levelisation period...would promote the long term interest of end-users of the service'. Translating this, the implication for ULLS is that the specific costs would be far less than Telstra has claimed - and hence the band 2 ULLS price would be well below Telstra's claimed $22.

"Telstra's game plan has been to keep wholesale prices high and suppress competition. It is pleasing that the regulator and the appeal Tribunal are standing up for competition. The winners will be customers - who will enjoy more choice and better service," Mr Fletcher said.

Media contact:
Melissa Favero
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 9342 5030