Telstra fined $18m for exchange capping

Telstra fined $18m for exchange capping

Summary: Telstra has been fined $18.55 million for "exchange capping", restricting exchange access to other internet service providers, after a verdict was handed down in the Federal Court this morning.

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Telstra has been fined $18.55 million for "exchange capping", restricting exchange access to other internet service providers, after a verdict was handed down in the Federal Court this morning.

Gavel

Telstra has copped an $18.55 million fine after it was found by the Federal Court to have blocked competitors out of exchange facilities.(My Trusty Gavel image by Brian Turner, CC2.0)

Telstra told ZDNet Australia in a statement that the telco would not be appealing the penalty.

"Since the start of the case, we have acknowledged that mistakes were made. We accept the judgement which has been handed down. We will not be appealing," Telstra said.

The fine is the result of an ongoing legal stoush between Telstra and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after the telco was accused of restricting competitor access to its telephone exchanges last March.

Telstra claimed that several of its telephone exchanges were full or "capped", leaving competitors looking to connect new customers and install Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) infrastructure out in the cold.

The ACCC argued that Telstra was purposely shutting competitors out and pursued legal action, claiming a contravention of the Trade Practices Act.

Speaking at last year's Australian Telecommunications User Group Conference, ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel issued a stern warning to the telco that the regulator was not afraid to pursue legal action if it believed Telstra was slowing down new technology roll-outs.

Telstra has also drawn the ire of its competitors after slashing the cost of its BigPond broadband offerings without adjusting wholesale pricing. The question of whether or not Telstra will pass on the price cuts to its wholesale customers hangs in the air.

Internode and iiNet lodged complaints with the ACCC regarding the growing gap between Telstra's consumer and wholesale pricing.

Topics: Legal, Government, Government AU, Microsoft, Telcos, Telstra

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • Telstra Country Wide in Bathurst NSW has "capped" many local exchanges even though the wholesale reports from Telstra Wholesale saying that ADSL ports are available.

    I've made ove 200+ ADSL applications with Multiple providers all declined for the following reaseons (over the last 2yrs)
    1. Too far from the exchange (I'm less 1klm from two DSLAMS)
    2. On Pair gain (I've asked to be transposition, telstra refused, so I ordered a new line still no adsl.)
    3. Not enough port available (both dslams in the telstra wholesale report have 4+ port available on each of them)

    I've contacted Telstra Directly numerous times to be told various stories and that I should be lucky to have voice service. (Even though I'm part of a residential estate with 5 DSLAMS in 2KM Radius).

    There is no competition in small towns so no other provider has access to these small sub exchanges, Telstra knows this.
    Telstra holds us to ransom to NEXTG pricing 4 times more expensive than ADSL and has daily slow periods up to 6hrs it's joke.
    myles.agnew