Telco industry calls on Conroy to cut regulation rope

Telecoms industry body the Communications Alliance has called on the government to support a lighter regulatory touch for broadband.

Telecoms industry body the Communications Alliance has called on the government to support a lighter regulatory touch for broadband.

"Competitive market forces and industry self-regulation should be the principal means of achieving outcomes for network deployments, network operations, industry behaviours and end-user outcomes," said Communications Alliance CEO Anne Hurley.

"The way forward involves a lot less regulation, and a greater reliance on market forces," she said.

"It's obviously in everyone's interest to do it with as little regulation as possible," said telecommunications market watcher Paul Budde, "but at the same time we've seen how difficult it can actually be if we don't regulatory body with any teeth."

Budde said that while a self regulatory model would be desirable, a strong government presence is still required to curtail any excesses committed by Telstra, and to lay down the ground rules for the market.

"Once the guidelines are in place leave it up to industry to sort it out, but rules of the game have to be written by the government...let them play after that," he said.

The Communications Alliance announcement comes after a group of nine ISPs wrote yesterday to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman, Graham Samuel, asking the regulator to investigate Telstra for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour after the telco said it will not offer wholesale access to its ADSL2+ network.

In response to the dispute yesterday, managing director of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group, Rosemary Sinclair, encouraged the Federal government to step into the market and establish an independent regulatory body -- similar to the UK's Ofcom -- to oversee it.

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