Joel Callen


Wed, 8 Jul, 2015

Phone and internet bills to drop

Phone and internet bills to drop

Look forward to cheaper phone and internet bills from October, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended Telstra cut the price it charges other telcos to have access to its copper wire network.

Many of Telstra’s rivals pay for the telco to provide phone and broadband services over the Telstra network.

Prices should drop by 9.6 per cent say the ACCC. There will be fewer customers relying on the copper network as it is progressively replaced by the national broadband network (NBN).

The ACCC said that the customers still using the copper network shouldn’t have to pay the large costs to maintain it.

“If there is no adjustment for these higher costs then customers who have not been migrated to the NBN will pay significantly higher prices for copper-based services,” said chairman Rod Sims.

“Eventually, these prices would reach absurd levels for the unlucky last copper customers.”

Telstra said it was disappointed with the recommendation. A company spokesperson said that the ACCC should be setting prices that mean all companies that use the copper network bear the cost of operating it equally.

Over the next few years the cost of operating the network will rise while the number of customers drops. The telco say that their deal with the federal government for the NBN rollout does not account for the increased costs.

“If the ACCC reduces access prices on the legacy network, they risk making the transition to the NBN harder for everyone — consumers, industry and NBN Co,” the spokesman said.

The price cut is a draft ruling for the ACCC. Further feedback will be sought before making the final ruling come September.

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