Telstra access price hike thwarted

Telstra's legal challenge to the prices set by the Australian competition watchdog of access to its copper network was last Friday rejected in the Federal Court.

Telstra's legal challenge to the prices set by the Australian competition watchdog of access to its copper network was last Friday rejected in the Federal Court.

The 14 proceedings that were dismissed related to the price Telstra wanted to charge for its Line Sharing Service (LLS) and Unconditioned Local Loop service (ULLS) on its copper Customer Access Network.

LLS allows a secondary provider, such as an ISP, to provide non-voice services, while ULLS refers to both voice and internet services. Telstra had disputed the prices for each service previously set by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Respondents to Telstra's legal claims included Agile, Adam Internet, Primus, TPG, Amcom, PowerTel and Optus.

Justice Lindgren found that Telstra had misconstrued elements of the Trade Practices Act and methods used to calculate the cost of providing such services. Telstra was ordered by Lindgren to pay court costs.

"This is yet another failed attempt by Telstra to overturn an ACCC decision with a view to setting ridiculously high prices for access to its network. Telstra failed before the ACCC and now the Federal Court," Maha Krishnapillai, Optus' director of government and corporate affairs said in a statement.

"The cost of basic access to the last copper mile is a simple and clear cut issue — and yet Telstra has gamed, delayed and litigated around the issue for 12 years."

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