The ACCC has released its first report on Telstra’s compliance with its Structural Separation Rules (SSU) and migration plan, which aims to safeguard competition until the National Broadband Network is finished. The report found that the telco made seven breaches of the equivalence and transparency measures contained in the SSU.
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The potential SSU breaches were reported by Telstra under its mandatory compliance obligations between 6 March 2012 and June 30 2012. The majority of the breaches relate to the potential disclosure of commercially sensitive wholesale customer information from rival telcos to Telstra’s retail businesses — which was provided to Telstra in its capacity as access provider of regulated services.
“While it is of concern that these breaches have occurred, the fact that these matters are now coming to light and are being addressed shows that the SSU is working,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
Telstra has since taken additional steps to ensure compliance with its obligations, although the ACCC notes it will take “some time” to complete these tasks as full remediation will involve changes to complex information and operational systems.
“Some of Telstra’s legacy systems contain Wholesale Customer Protected Information which may be available to staff in a RBU [Retail Business Unit] who have access to that system,” the telco explained in the report.
“Not all Wholesale Customer Protected Information has been masked from, or otherwise segregated from, users of the system who are from a RBU. The business has been reliant upon behavioural rules, training and policies to promote compliance.”
Telstra also stated that the limited number of instances in which wholesale orders were withdrawn was in breach of company policy and against training/instructions to staff.
In response to the breaches, the ACCC alerted wholesale customers to issues so that they could take steps to minimise any impact upon their businesses and will continue to investigate each of the breaches included in the report.
You can read the full ACCC report here.