Telstra retail price controls
Telstra retail prices on a range of fixed-line services are capped under the Telstra Carrier Charges—Price Control Arrangements, Notifications and Disallowance Determination No. 1 of 2005 (the Determination).
Price caps apply to 'baskets' of services, such as monthly line rental and telephone calls, and generally only permit price increases in line with CPI movements. The cost of untimed local calls for residential and payphone services is set at 22 cents and 50 cents respectively. Price control arrangements of this type have applied to Telstra (or its predecessors, Telecom and the Overseas Telecommunications Corporation) since 1989.
Price controls are considered a key telecommunications consumer safeguard that aim to ensure that efficiency improvements are passed through to consumers in the form of lower prices for telecommunications services in markets where competition is not yet fully developed. They also protect the interests of low-income and regional users of telecommunications services.
Extension of price controls to 2014
In June 2012, following a public consultation process the minister extended the existing price control arrangements until 30 June 2014 with some amendments.
The Amending Instrument, the accompanying Explanatory Statement and the minister’s media release are available here:
- Telstra Carrier Charges—Price Control Arrangements, Notification and Disallowance Determination No. 1 of 2005 (Amendment No. 1 of 2012)
- Explanatory Statement: Telstra Carrier Charges—Price Control Arrangements, Notification and Disallowance Determination No. 1 of 2005 (Amendment No. 1 of 2012)
- Media release: Retail price controls on Telstra extended to 2014
The amended instrument implements the recommendations of the retail price controls review undertaken by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The review found that retail price controls on fixed-line services supplied on Telstra-owned networks should continue for a further two years unchanged. However, services supplied by Telstra over the National Broadband Network, or other similar networks, should no longer be subject to the price controls, with two exceptions: the price cap on untimed local calls is maintained and charges for directory assistance services continue to be subject to disallowance by the minister.
Review of Retail Price Controls 2011
The review of retail price control arrangements for fixed-line telecommunications services was conducted by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The review report was published on 28 June 2012.
- Review of Retail Price Controls report (PDF, 749.4 KB)
- Review of Retail Price Controls report (DOC, 489.5 KB)
The department released a discussion paper as part of this review in October 2011. It provided background on the current retail price controls, explored a range of issues for the review to consider and invited submissions from interested parties on these matters.
- Retail Price Controls Review—discussion paper (PDF, 958.2 KB)
- Retail Price Controls Review—discussion paper (RTF, 544.8 KB)
- Media Release: Telecommunications retail price controls review
Terms of reference for the review
- The review is to provide advice to the government on:
- the appropriate policy framework for retail price controls
- the services, if any, which should be subject to price controls
- any legislative changes required to give effect to that policy framework
- any interim arrangements which would be required during the transition to a new price control framework.
- In doing so, the review is to have regard to:
- the extent to which retail price controls benefit consumers
- the implications of the NBN rollout for price controls, including:
- the government's commitment to uniform national wholesale pricing
- enhanced retail competition in an open-access, wholesale-only network environment
- the migration of fixed-line services from existing networks
- whether the implementation of any price controls should be subject to different arrangements for services supplied using the NBN or Telstra's copper network
- whether price controls should apply to service providers other than Telstra
- whether there are cost-effective alternatives to the use of the current price control arrangements for assisting low-income users
- what arrangements should apply to the provision of untimed local calls in Extended Zones
- what arrangements for regulatory oversight should apply.
Responses to discussion paper
The department received 10 submissions in response to the discussion paper. Public versions of these submissions are available here.
- AAPT Ltd (PDF, 297 KB)
- Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) (PDF, 163 KB)
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) (PDF, 1 MB)
- Australian Information and Communications Technology in Education Committee (AICTEC) (PDF, 441 KB)
- Isolated Children's Parents' Association (ICPA) (DOC, 198 KB)
- Mr Joel Krose (DOC, 198 KB)
- Macquarie Telecom (PDF, 197 KB)
- Optus (PDF, 669 KB)
- Telstra (PDF, 329 KB)
- Vodafone Hutchison Australia (399 KB)
For enquiries, please email email@example.com.
Extension of price controls to 2012
In June 2010, following public consultation the minister extended the existing price control arrangements until June 2012.
The Instrument and accompanying Explanatory Statement are available here:
- Telstra Carrier Charges—Price Control Arrangements, Notification and Disallowance Determination No. 1 of 2005 (Amendment No. 1 of 2010)
- Explanatory statement: Telstra Carrier Charges – Price Control Arrangements, Notification and Disallowance Determination
In 2010, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conducted a review of price control arrangements. Its report is available on the ACCC website