[arn] The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has introduced five key regulatory instruments to move closer the structural reform of the telecommunications industry.
The instruments provide the framework for Telstra’s structural separation.
Telstra can opt to proceed with lodging its structural separation undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
According to Senator Conroy, significant improvements were made to the instruments resulting from submissions obtained during the consultation period, which closed on June 15.
"The telecommunications industry fully understands the magnitude of these reforms and they provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a level playing field and enable competition and investment to flourish for the benefit of consumers," he said.
Senator Conroy mentioned interim transparency and equivalence arrangements are not intended to require Telstra to undertake functional separation but rather, intended to provide meaningful advances to existing arrangements for industry access to Telstra's copper network.
"The instruments I made today will require Telstra to make new commitments to equivalence and provide for stronger transparency measures during Telstra’s transition to full structural separation,” he said.
Senator Conroy also said the delivery of the structural reform in conjunction with the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), will present all locals with better, fairer, and cheaper access to broadband services.
The five instruments made under Part 33 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 include: The Telecommunications (Acceptance of Undertaking about Structural Separation—Matters) Instrument 2011, Telecommunications (Structural Separation—Networks and Services Exemption) Instrument (No.1) 2011, Telecommunications (Migration Plan Principles) Determination 2011, Telecommunications (Migration Plan—Specified Matters) Instrument 2011 and the Telecommunications (Regulated Services) Determination (No. 1) 2011.
Structural reform of telecommunications a step closer