Telstra proposes revision to structural separation

  • Telstra wholesale and retail to separate
  • ACCC to deliberate
  • BigPond currently the default for 80%of exchanges

Dec 9. 2011 - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported that it has received a revised structural separation undertaking from Telstra. The exact details under revision have not been revealed, but appear to be around regulatory concerns over ADSL wholesale provision. For the time being, the separation of Telstra’s retail and wholesale arms is still within Telstra’s control, with the co-operation of the ACCC.

What does this mean for customers? Can cheaper plans for ADSL be forthcoming? Possibly. Once Telstra retail (ie. BigPond) separates from wholesale, BigPond will likely become more competitively priced. The built-in line rental charge should reduce as well, bringing more competition to more places. But for customers who have found that BigPond is the only game in town for their area, they may be shocked to find out that, after separation, even BigPond won’t be able to provide a fixed-line service. By that time though, the National Broadband Network (NBN) should have much of their new fibre-optic rollout complete, and customers will have more choice than ever before. The old copper network will become the property of the NBN as well, so even those areas where fibre won’t reach might have access to ADSL from a wider variety of carriers.

In preparation for a more competitive life, BigPond have been reducing their plans and offering excellent value for money on what is still the widest-ranging network in Australia. Many customers balk at the typically lower download limits, but it’s worth remembering that lower limits help keep the network stable for all users. Another issue traditionally has been the long contract terms. Providers who have met the demand for no or low contracts include TPG, Exetel, Internode and Dodo. Or, use our handy internet plan wizard to determine which provider is right for you.