ACCC believes DDAS and ISDN services are outdated

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ACCC believes DDAS and ISDN services are outdated

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued its draft report on declaring the Digital Data Access and Integrated Services Data Network (ISDN) Services as well as accompanying draft pricing principles with respect to the services.

The draft report concerns regulation of the DDAS and ISDN services in regional areas and proposes an extension of the declarations of these services until 30 June 2009 or a further 12 months from the expiry date of the current declaration.

The ACCC believes that both the DDAS and ISDN services are becoming outdated, legacy technologies. Since the previous review their use has declined in regional areas. Extension of the declarations for 12 months will provide an appropriate transition period for users to migrate to alternative technologies or services in regional areas.

The declarations of the DDAS and ISDN services in CBD and metropolitan areas of the capital cities were removed on 30 June 2006.

The ISDN is used for the carriage of information such as voice, data, high quality sound, text, still images, and video over the public switched telephone network. The service was declared in 1998.

The DDAS is an access service for the domestic carriage of data. The service can combine the use of a customer access line with management to ensure high quality data transmission. The service was declared in 1997.

Independent telecommunications telecommunication analyst, Paul Budde, told CRN that the proposal won’t help service providers.

“The decision by the ACCC indicates there is no need for regulation in the broadband market and it will loosen its control on those services. That said it will make it less possible for Telstra to misuse it powers in these particular market,” he said.

According to Budde, service providers operating in these areas might “cry foul” over the ACCC’s decision, but the overall reality is that these services are less important and are being outrun by service like; all the DSL service, wireless and satellite.

The current DDAS and ISDN service declarations expire on 30 June 2008 and under the Trade Practices Act 1974, the ACCC is required to complete its review prior to this date.

To assist its final decision, the ACCC invites comment on the draft declaration report and the draft pricing principles by 11 April 2008. The ACCC expects to issue its final decision in June 2008.

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