Telecommunications Competition Regulation
This public inquiry has concluded. The final inquiry report was released by the Australian Government on 21 December 2001.
The Productivity Commission has undertaken a public inquiry into telecommunications competition regulation at the request of the Treasurer. In its terms of reference the Commission was asked to report on:
- the operation to date of Parts XIB and XIC of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and certain provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1997
- the community and economic benefits and costs flowing from those provisions
- whether those provisions are sufficient to prevent integrated firms taking advantage of their market power with the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition in a telecommunications market, or whether alternative arrangements are required or appropriate
- whether any or all of these provisions should be repealed or amended.
The terms of reference specified that the inquiry would not encompass the structural separation of Telstra, in line with Government policy on this issue.
In addition to the original terms of reference the review also considered some additional matters. These were firstly, to have regard to the differing levels of competition across Australia and consider whether a greater recognition of those differing circumstances should be incorporated into competiton regulation, and secondly, specifically to consider the implications of current pay television programming arrangements for the development of telecommunications competition in regional Australia, and consider whether any additional regulatory measures are needed to facilitate access to pay television programming.