ACCC looks into Telstra's iBurst buy

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has written to potentially interested parties to request comment on how Telstra's acquisition of iBurst's spectrum would impact competition in the wireless broadband market.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has written to potentially interested parties to request comment on how Telstra's acquisition of iBurst's spectrum would impact competition in the wireless broadband market.

(Credit: Telstra)

In one letter seen by ZDNet.com.au, Gabrielle Ford, the director of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at the ACCC, wrote that the commission was currently reviewing Telstra's acquisition of iBurst's 1905-1910MHz spectrum to see if it would decrease competition in the market.

An attachment to the letter listed questions the commission considered to be of particular interest. The first was what the spectrum in the lower 2GHz band could be used for. The commission also desired to know how extensively the band was currently being used.

Aside from Telstra, which holds 10MHz in the band after the recent acquisition, Optus and Vodafone also have spectrum in that area, although that does not necessarily mean they have actively been using the spectrum.

The ACCC also wanted to know whether spectrum in other bands could be used for the services which could be run in the band in question, and whether enough spectrum was available in other bands to do so.

The closing date for submissions was today.

The spectrum came up for sale after iBurst parent Commander went into administration. Telstra bought iBurst's spectrum, leading to the iBurst network's shut down on 19 December last year.

Telstra has said that it had not yet made a final decision on what it intended to do with its new acquisition, but that it would look to deploy mobile broadband and video technologies and applications over the band.

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