Under the Telecommunications Act 1997, the ACCC is required to conduct a review into whether a Ministerial Determination should be made to specify the amount of control a carrier should have of a telecommunications company before that company is subject to the requirements under the Facilities Access Regime (the Regime). Carriers subject to the Regime must, on request, give another carrier access to infrastructure, such as transmission towers. The Regime is important in facilitating competition and the efficient use and provision of telecommunications services. Previously, only licensed carriers were subject to the Regime, however due to market developments, namely Telstra’s restructure, there is a question as to whether carriers with less equity in a passive tower company should be subject to the Regime.

It is ACCAN’s view that consumers would benefit if all infrastructure providers, not just licensed carriers, were subject to the Regime, for the following reasons:

  •  Applying the Regime regardless of carrier status would encourage greater infrastructure sharing, reducing the cost of deploying networks in regional areas, and increasing competition and consumer choice.
  • A carrier may still retain control of a passive tower company at any level of equity, and it may still be possible for a carrier to have influence over decisions relating to access.
  • Ownership of infrastructure is becoming more oblique, making it difficult to understand the incentives of the companies and making their decisions harder to predict.

Download:  docxACCAN submission to ACCC Facilities Access3.52 MB

Download:  pdfACCAN submission to ACCC Facilities Access196.79 KB