Conroy releases Telstra separation guide

Conroy releases Telstra separation guide

Summary: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has released the draft regulatory instruments that will ultimately guide the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission when regulating the structural separation of the wholesale and retail arms of Telstra.


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has released the draft regulatory instruments that will ultimately guide the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission when regulating the structural separation of the wholesale and retail arms of Telstra.

After amending to the Telecommunications Act late last year, the government has now released draft instruments that will form the framework for the separation to take place.

Should the pending $11 billion agreement between Telstra, the government and NBN Co be completed and approved by Telstra shareholders, the company will then lodge a structural separation undertaking (SSU) with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The draft instruments released today set out:

  • What the ACCC must examine before accepting the SSU from Telstra
  • What parts of Telstra's networks and services are exempt from the scope of the SSU
  • The timing and processes for the migration of Telstra customers onto the National Broadband Network
  • What the migration plan may contain, as well as what it must not contain
  • The level of transparency that must apply to Telstra during the structural separation process.

Transparency during the separation was vital, according to Conroy.

"It is important industry is able to access Telstra's copper network on a transparent and equivalent basis during the period Telstra is migrating customer services to the NBN," he said.

"In my guidance to the ACCC, and under the reforms passed late last year, I have made clear that the ACCC must not accept a structural separation undertaking unless it is satisfied Telstra will put in place appropriate and effective transparency and equivalence arrangements during the transition to structural separation."

NBN Co's head of services Kevin Brown said the Telstra deal was within weeks of finalisation, and said that he believed the deal would bring an end to debate over whether state governments should legislate to require premises to opt out of having fibre installed to premises, as the copper network would be decommissioned.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, Telcos, Telstra, NBN


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • I am waiting to hear what will happen to my Optus HFC service. This is currently giving me consistently better than 15Mbps on a 30G plan for $39.95pm. At the moment that speed is ok, of course when everyone else has 1Gbs I will want that of course, but for $39.95pm.
    Knowledge Expert
    • A likely outcome for someone in your position would be that when NBNCo rolls out FTTP in your area, Optus will migrate its HFC broadband customers to NBN fibre. A service offering 25Mbps (slightly better than your current offering) would cost the same or very little more than what you are paying now. It's also quite likely Optus will grandparent its existing customers over to the nearest equivalent (or better) FTTP service at the same price. That would meant the smoothest transition for them, and would allow for the quickest retiring of their HFC broadband service (with consequent savings to them).
    • @ Doubt yes "you" would....

      But if you had any morals at all (being as anti-NBN as you are) you would bluntly refuse any NBN products/services and demand the (then possible) future Coalition government, to supply you the cans and string you so justly deserve...

      Back to the basement now gimp...!
      • Rizz you really are a bitter and twisted person.
      • Only one flaw in your vicious attack on my charactor Rizz. The cans and string would be an analogue connection and would not be compatible with my computer.
        Knowledge Expert
        • But they will be compatible with your views and education level...enjoy!
          • Thank you and enjoy your day!
            Knowledge Expert
          • Thank you I will... you too!

            Glad to see you have seen the light and no longer referring to others as goose or insect...

            As a consequence, I may also be able to do like wise with the gimp quip... we'll see eh!

            As for "La Cucaracha", lost in a mire of TLS greed, he's beyond redemption!
  • so the government is forging ahead with structual seperation of Telstra. The government forgets as a shareholder it owns less then 5% of shares and Telstra is a public company not a government company

    Imagine for a moment

    The austrlian government announces the structual seperation of Woolworths due to non competative nature. currently Woolworths must provide Coles with space in their store, the government regulates the amount of money Woolworths charges coles for the area. Woolworths MUST supply All produce to Coles that they demand and the government regulates how much Woolworths can charge Coles for that produce and also regulates how much Woolworths can charge its customers

    Now under new regulations the Government will be taking ownership of all the stores infastructure and the supply of the product being sold it will regulate how much Woolworths will pay them for this and will regulate how much Woolworths can then resell this produce at and claims it will increase compitition

    Rediculous you say? this would never happen? or in the case or RS as im sure he will say " the ramblings of another Telstra shareholder concerned about his hip pocket, doesnt care about fast internet blah blah blah, totally different situation blah blah blah (all to cover RS true agenda im a whiney little Telstra basher i am between 18 and 25 i live with my parents and i want super fast internet so i can get higher WOW scores and download movies faster and i believe the Australian tax payer should pay and a public company should be destroyed and 1000's of people put out of work for me to download movies quicker because im special and deserve what ever i want)

    well it isnt different Telstra is NOT a Government company. the Government sold its shares. The government is WELCOME to Build their OWN Network along side Telstra's and compete for customers etc but forcing the destruction of a public company not controlled by the Government
    • My 8-year-old son could point out the flaw in that analogy: "but our local shopping centre has both a Coles and a Woolworths - and they both sell the same stuff!"

      A better analogy might be: if Woolworths owned over 95% of the farms, canneries and food processing factories, and Coles had to pay much higher wholesale rates to stock its shelves compared to Woolworths, then yes, the Government (and the ACCC - the bit you left out) would be quite within its rights to pursue a course of structural separation - forcing Woolworths to hive off its produce arm from its retail arm, and have the produce arm give equal wholesale rates to different buyers.
    • Brumby, you are spot on.
    • Gwyntalow... it's no use... you are amongst "greed royalty" here who can see nothing but Telstra perfection.

      I see I even got a mention from Brumby, who frankly I can't remember...!
  • I cannot wait for a post-mortem of this whole side show.

    If the Libs get in, and do the right thing (that is get ride of the whole thing and let private industry do it i.e. Telstra FTTN on its terms and regulations, as they are the only ones who can anyway), this would certainly be a great thesis for someone to do.

    But the outcome will be the same, and that is never to let government run businesses, and stick to their core duty of governing. But they just can't help themselves.

    This total cluster and disaster will make the sage look like Pee Wee Herman, with the tax payer coping a huge bill for nothing.

    You'll have Conroy singing off his horse "it could have been done on time and budget" acting like Audie Murphy finishing off 10 opponents in a movie film.

    The sad, sad thing about this, unlike the One Tel episode, is that Labor will get away with it all, scot-free without a care in the world.
    • Pee Wee herman I vaguely recall but Audie Murphy?

      No wonder you hate technology... to you, wireless is probably one of those fandoogled contraptions you listen to Alan Jones

      I wish the government would just buy Telstra back to shut you poor dumb, loser shareholders up once and for all...ffs!
  • Brumby you are correct in your complaint. As a Telstra shareholder (one of 1,400,000) I would hope that Telstra management would not agree with any deal with NBN Co that was not in ths best interests of Telstra owners. Let's hope that with the completion of the deal the shocking threat and blackmail of Telstra is finished.
    • If anyone thinks that Telstra board members and shareholders are going to scoff at $11 billion easy money in a volatile and uncertain market... then that's quite a stretch for the rest of us to believe.
      • They don't seem to be in too much of a rush to present it to their shareholders. Whilst 11B is a truckload of cash, what they stand to gain if the Coalition win the next election would be worth more.
        • Really? The Coalition are going to make an even bigger deal? Don't forget about the value of the bird in the hand...

          The reason they have not been "in too much of a rush" is that this has been a high stakes negotiation, played to the very last moment. The result is a deal which, it can credibly be argued to shareholders, really was the very best that could be made for the shareholders.

          A quick deal doesn't let you do that. Shareholders would buck and ask whether a better deal couldn't have been made if you had held out. But this way, it's much easier to persuade the majority that this really went all 15 rounds.
          • The coalition won't have a choice. If (probably when) they win the next election, they'll have to move away from the NBNco model since they've bagged the he'll out of it. Any other solution would almost have to include the big T.
          • Abbott would can it... purely out of blind ideology...Turnbull isn't as stubborn or stupid, imo...

            If Turnbull is leader, he'll simply say something like thsi...

            "The NBN has gone too far and simply cannot be turned back now, as it simply would waste "further" taxpayer funds and we can't allow that. The previous government's mismanagement waste has has brought us to the point of no return!

            So although not thought through by the previous wasteful mismanaged government, we will hold every future NBN cent accountable, trim the fat and make any necessary adjustments possible to save the hurting taxpayer from further wasteful of the previous mismanaged government...and although against our better judgement, now that it's come too far, it is prudent, to follow it through.

            Also unlike the previous wasteful government, who reneged on contracts, will are more honourable and will honour their contracts" {END}.

            He will make his inevitable and obvious backdown sound so honourable, the sheep who are here bagging the NBN daily will lap it up, and we the pro-NBNers will STILL be laughing at them and their naivety, as the NBN roll on...imo!