Telcos: Prices Drop, Complaints Soar

  • Prices fall for internet
  • Billions in investment happening
  • Complaint increae

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Telecommunications Reports 2008–09 showed that consumers had price declines for phone and internet services during 2008-09.

It also stated that service prices for fixed-line voice fell by 2.6 per cent, mobile voice services by 7.8 per cent and fixed and mobile internet by 4.6 per cent during the period.

At the same time the reports conclude that markets for Australian telecommunications are evolving with increased innovation in mobile platforms and continuing uptake and utilisation of data services over fixed and mobile networks.

Investment in the industry included:

  • capital investment of $10.8 billion, which is at a comparable level to 2007–08 investment, and more than twice the expenditure in 2005–06
  • upgrades to both Optus's and Telstra's 3G mobile network infrastructure
  • continuing investment in DSLAM infrastructure, but within a stable footprint, suggesting that markets may be approaching a natural limit to competitive advances in this area, and
  • investment in transmission routes, including a fibre link between Tasmania and the mainland and international fibre links.

However, telecommunications markets were delivering outcomes that did not meet all consumers' expectations, with consumer complaints continuing to increase. In this regard, during 2008-09, the ACCC accepted undertakings from network operators to improve the clarity and reasonableness of marketing practices