Monday, November 16, 2009

Australia - competition by direct access continues to grow with consumers exercising choice

[accc] The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published information concerning the number and distribution of services supplied over Telstra's widespread copper network.

Data indicates that in the two years to September 2009, the number of broadband services supplied by internet service providers through direct access to Telstra copper loops, coupled with investment in their own equipment, has more than doubled to reach 1.3 million services.

While the growth of broadband services via direct access has, as expected, slowed to around 288,000 lines in the past 12 months, investment has continued to expand with an additional 24 telephone exchanges now being serviced by alternative providers.

"This data shows that competition by direct access continues to grow with consumers exercising choice and seeking value by selecting alternate service providers for broadband," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.

Telstra, more generally, has recorded a decline in the number of retail and wholesale broadband services provided over its own fixed line equipment, while at the same time, broadband services through alternative providers have increased. The net result has been overall annual growth in broadband services of close to three per cent led by alternate providers.

At the same time, total fixed lines in operation have fallen below 10 million. This decline is likely to have resulted from the trend to disconnect second lines and a substitution of mobile services for fixed lines, though the relative importance of these factors remains unquantified.

ACCC publishes data on take-up of broadband access services

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