ACCC launches DTCS regulations inquiry

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 05 March, 2018

ACCC launches DTCS regulations inquiry

The ACCC has launched a public inquiry into whether the regulatory framework for the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS) remains appropriate in light of changing market conditions.

DTCS regulations set the price and non-price terms of a commercial agreement between an access seeker and access provider for a given area, used as a fallback for when no commercial agreement can be arranged.

Transmission services are high-capacity wholesale data services provided by nbn co and other wholesale network providers.

They are essential components of many retail telecoms services including mobile, residential broadband and business services, as well as backhaul networks for transmitting large volumes of voice, data and video traffic.

According to the ACCC, the regulation of a domestic transmission service in areas with insufficient competition is essential to promoting the long-term interests of consumers and businesses.

But with the current DTCS declaration due to expire in March 2019, the ACCC is required to conduct a review of the framework.

This review has found that many service providers are now acquiring non-regulated commercial domestic transmission services in preference to the regulated DTCS service.

The DTCS regulations will also need to be updated to address the nbn’s range of new services for enterprises, as well as the potential for the upcoming 5G mobile standard to offer an alternative method of high-capacity short-distance transmission service delivery.

“This declaration inquiry takes place at an important time for the communications market. The nbn rollout has progressed significantly since we last looked at the domestic transmission market, and we need to examine the impact that nbn services are having on competition within the transmission market,” Sims said.

“As part of this inquiry we will examine competition in transmission at nbn points of interconnection (POI), as these transmission services are essential in carrying traffic between the POI and a service provider’s network.”

In response to feedback from the recent inquiry into whether domestic mobile roaming should be a declared service, the review will also consider whether transmission services used for the supply of mobile services in remote and regional Australia should be considered separately to other transmission services.

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