Commerce Commission to determine Chorus copper network pricing

The Commerce Commission has today released a paper which outlines the proposed process for pricing Chorus’ wholesale broadband – the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service – according to the ‘Final Pricing Principle’ in the Telecommunications Act.

The Commission determined the UBA price in November at $10.92, according to the Act’s Initial Pricing Principle, that is, by international benchmarking.

The industry has since called for the Commission to reassess that price according to the Final Pricing Principle, by undertaking an engineering model calculation of UBA costs in New Zealand.

The Commission has set a date of 1 December 2014 for completing this work.

The NZ watchdog will have to determine an economic pricing model to find the true cost of the service rather than relying on previous international experiences as a benchmark.

“The new UBA price takes effect on 1 December and will have a significant impact on the New Zealand fixed-line telecommunications market. It’s important the Commission takes steps to provide certainty by setting a final price by this date,” said Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale.

The Commission proposes to determine the UBA price by modelling the cost of providing the UBA service on Chorus’ existing copper network, or in some regions, on ‘Rural Broadband Initiative’ fixed wireless.

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