ACCC Will Keep Regulating ADSL Until The NBN Is (Probably) Finished

The ACCC’s tenure in regulating Australia’s ADSL connections runs out in February of next year. A while ago, that would have been a reasonable enough time frame for the NBN to be finished around Australia. But with all the political fuckery that the network has been dragged through in the past few years, Australia’s competition watchdog needs to extend its time taking care of ADSL and regulating the prices that you, the customer, are charged.

The ACCC, understandably, says that its continued regulation of wholesale ADSL providers and prices would continue to be a positive thing for end users — because it’d continue to promote competition between suppliers and would keep prices lower than they would otherwise rise to in an unchecked market. Before 13 February 2017, it’ll review its wholesale service declaration over ADSL and decide whether to continue that declaration for another five years.

ADSL is in a weird position at the moment, because most of the copper network that runs around the country is owned by Telstra, and that network is progressively being cut off and switched over to the National Broadband Network. Telstra obviously wants to get as much as profit out of its copper as possible, and that means it wants to charge wholesalers as much as it (rationally) can. The ACCC has to stop that happening because since the NBN isn’t ubiquitous — yet — ADSL is the only choice for many Aussie interent users.

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