Telstra plumbed for exchange data

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Telstra plumbed for exchange data

Competition watchdog seeks detail on all queued access seekers.

Telstra may be compelled to reveal detailed information about ISPs queuing for space in its telecommunications exchanges under changes proposed by the competition watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed a three-year extension to the Telstra exchange facilities record keeping rules (TEF RKRs) created in July 2008 to cast transparency on Telstra's exchange capping and queuing processes.

The rules were formulated in response to complaints from access seekers that claimed to have faced "long delays" when seeking to install DSLAM equipment in Telstra exchanges.

The rules required Telstra to inform the ACCC of "exchanges in which delays are occurring, reasons for delays and the lengths of such delays" in monthly reports [pdf], portions of which were made public.

Under the current rules, Telstra was required to provide detailed information on the first queued access seeker at a particular exchange, such as their name and the status of any design and construction proposals (DCPs).

DCPs outline any proposed work to be undertaken in an exchange.

The ACCC now intends for Telstra to do the same for every access seeker queued at an exchange, not just for the ISP that is first in line.

"While it is possible to determine the more detailed information for other queued access seekers by manually matching data from previous reports, the ACCC considers that transparency could be improved by requiring Telstra to report this detailed information for all access seekers," the ACCC said in a consultation paper [pdf].

"This could be accommodated by a relatively minor change that Telstra report the relevant information for all access seekers in a queue, not just the first access seeker.

"The ACCC understands that this information is already recorded in Telstra's systems and has been reported in previous periods.

"Given this information is readily available, the ACCC considers this would impose a minor burden on Telstra which would be outweighed by the improved transparency in relation to queue developments."

Other changes proposed by the ACCC were relatively minor, formalising an arrangement with Telstra that cut the reporting deadline from 28 to 15 business days, and establishing a central point of contact within ACCC email systems.

Public comment on the ACCC's proposals was due by 20 May.

Comment was being sought from Telstra.

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