I have been going on for some time about the issues with Telstra Velocity estates and the restriction residents have when they move in - that is being only able to access Telstra retail services.

Well it has now made it into the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network. South Australian parliamentarian and member for Fisher, Bob Such, in a brief submission to the committee highlighted the situation and the complaints he had received from residents moving into Telstra Smart Community estates.

"I query those contractual arrangements between housing estate developers and telecommunication companies that prohibit new home owners from using an internet provider of choice," Such stated.

"Had we known we were going to be at Telstra's mercy forever we would not have brought where we did," said one user of the homeone forums, in regards to the Eynesbury estate

According to some research by Ry Crozier of IT News, he has picked up something which I had never noticed before, and that is some clauses in their terms and conditions which restrict the use of the network to be exclusive to Telstra.

As such Crozier claim's "Telstra has been able to shut its retail competitors out of new housing estates across Australia by entering into exclusive arrangements with developers in return for rolling out fibre in their estates."

The retail service exclusivity is set out in clauses in the terms and conditions of Telstra's Velocity product.

"Telstra shall own the network infrastructure," the terms and conditions state.

"The developer must not use, or permit anyone else to use, the network infrastructure."

"I'd have thought the arrangement with Telstra would border on being a restrictive trade practice," Such said.

In the article a developer who spoke to iTnews on condition of anonymity said there had been "a little bit" of backlash from residents over the lock-in arrangements with Telstra.


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