The Australian Competition Tribunal has this week been examining the ACCC's decision to grant Telstra an exemption from supplying voice services in certain areas.
ACCC's Michael Cosgrave
This exemption, granted in October last year, meant that Telstra didn't have to supply public switched telephone network originating access (PSTN OA) in 248 metropolitan exchange service areas. PSTN OA is used by other telcos to supply a range of calls including international, national long distance and fixed to mobile calls.
Industry players including AAPT were unsatisfied with the decision and took it to the Australian Competition Tribunal.
The PSTN OA exemption decision was the second Telstra exemption to be recently perused by the Tribunal. The first was the ACCC's decision in August last year to grant an exemption to Telstra for wholesale line services and local call services.
The Tribunal heard that case last year and found in December that the reasoning behind the ACCC's decision was not sound. The decision was overturned. The matter was then taken to the Federal Court by Telstra where the court ruled in favour of the large telco. The matter was to be referred back to the Australian Competition Tribunal for it to reconsider.
According to ACCC group general manager of communications Michael Cosgrave, the Competition Tribunal re-heard the matter a few weeks ago. He believed the Tribunal could be expected to hand down a decision on both exemption decisions in May.
The ACCC also featured in the Federal Court in Melbourne last week for its case against Telstra, which alleges that Telstra lied about not being able to make space in exchanges available for competitors' equipment. The judge ordered that the ACCC provide better details on its case by 8 May and that Telstra file its defence by 3 June. The matter would be heard again on 19 June.