A competitive telecommunications regime for Australia
Australia’s telecommunications industry operates in an environment of full and open competition. Entry to all telecommunications markets is open with minimal entry and ongoing operational requirements.
What types of telecommunications operators are there?
There are two main groups of operators:
carriers—those who operate key telecommunications facilities
service providers—those who use carriers’ facilities to provide phone, Internet services and/or content services, such as Pay TV, to the public.
the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for competition matters under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The ACCC can take action if carriers engage in anti-competitive conduct, breach record-keeping rules, or don’t meet access rules
the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for technical and other matters (such as carrier and service provider licensing, and number portability) under the Telecommunications Act 1997.
There are special rules for carriers and carriage service providers with substantial market power. Under Part XIB of the Competition and Consumer Act, if the ACCC considers one of this type of service provider has engaged in anti-competitive conduct, it can issue it with a notice. The ACCC can then take the matter to court to seek a financial penalty or other remedy. Anyone else affected by the anti-competitive behaviour can seek compensation from the service provider at fault.
Under Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act, the ACCC can 'declare' a service. Providers then have to provide access to enable other providers to compete. Standard access obligations are in Section 152AR in the Competition and Consumer Act.
The other pro-competitive safeguards
Other measures to promote competition include:
Pre-selection of service providers and call-by-call override of preselection
independent management and allocation of telephone numbers
number portability requirements
competitively neutral technical regulation of interfaces and networks generally.
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) The ACMA is responsible for regulating telecommunications, broadcasting and radiocommunications in Australia, providing information on consumer issues, standards and compliance, emergency services, numbering, mobile phone matters and important legislation.