Federal Government Announces Telecommunications Industry Inquiry

The Australian Productivity Commission is to review competition
regulation in the national telecommunications industry, the Australian
Federal Government announced today.

The proposed review will deal with anti-competitive behaviour in the
sector, and examine interconnection and access, carrier service
pre-selection and number portability.

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello said the Productivity Commission review
would be held according to the requirements of the Trade Practices Act, with
a report due within 12 months.

“The government is committed to facilitating the ongoing development of
an effective and competitive telecommunications framework,” said
Costello.

“Accordingly, the Government has widened the scope of the review to cover
other aspects of the telecommunications specific competition regime.”

But Costello urged the commission not to look into the Telstra
privatisation issue, saying that deregulation of the telecommunications
sector had already delivered significant benefits to Australia, bringing
more players and lower prices.

“The Productivity Commission review will assist in identifying whether
the regulatory regime is working as effectively as possible and that the
benefits of competition regulation are being delivered to customers,” he
said.

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