Millions of Australians could be about to get cheaper internet after the competition regulator released a draft decision to make Telstra cut wholesale access costs to its copper network by 9.6%
Even if they’re not Telstra customers, many Australians access the web and make fixed-line phone calls using the copper network via several other services which lease it off Telstra.
“The further draft decision will require a one-off uniform fall in access prices of 9.6 per cent for the seven access services,” the ACCC said in a statement. “The new prices will apply from 1 October 2015 until 30 June 2019.”
Telstra originally requested a one-off increase of 7.2% for other companies to access the network which it said it would be forced to maintain despite a dwindling user base as the NBN ramps up.
But the telco’s competitors instead called for a price decrease after Telstra secured an $11.2 billion compensation deal with NBN to lease assets.
“Users of Telstra’s network should not pay the higher costs that result from fewer customers as NBN migration occurs,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
“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.
“Eventually these prices would reach absurd levels for the unlucky last copper customers.”
A final decision is expected in September.