Telecom demands regulation - in Australia

Telecom continues to sing a different song on telecommunications regulation across the Tasman than it does at home.

Telecom continues to sing a different song on telecommunications regulation across the Tasman than it does at home.

The Telecom-owned AAPT has lashed out in Australia at what it describes as "yet another attempt by Telstra to stifle competition".

Telstra has applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for exemption from supplying local calls at wholesale prices to its competitors in some CBD, metropolitan and regional areas.

Such mandated wholesaling was among the proposals of the New Zealand ministerial inquiry into telecommunications that Telecom recently described as "a highly retrograde step for New Zealand where competition is flourishing".

But AAPT CEO Ron Nissen seems in no doubt about the merits of forcing the incumbent to wholesale when there is no competing infrastructure.

"Clearly there is no viable alternative to Telstra's copper network in most parts of Australia," said Nissen in a statement. "For Telstra to imply that it is experiencing strong competition from competing infrastructure carriers is totally without foundation - after all there are not more than 400,000 lines out of a total of 10 million that are not owned by Telstra.

"What competition exists today is based solely on Telstra's local network so it is quite wrong for it to state that it is experiencing competition at the infrastructure level in these areas," Nissen said.

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