Telco commissioner proposes price for Chorus' wholesale copper

Stephen Gale has proposed a total unbundled bitstream monthly price of $34.44 per line, up from the $32.35 price proposed in an earlier draft decision, with the additional UBA component accounting for $10.92, and the unbundled copper local loop $23.52.

The NZ Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale has backed off a little in setting a final regulated price for Chorus’ wholesale copper services but not to the extent the Government might have wanted.

He has proposed a total unbundled bitstream monthly price of $34.44 per line, up from the $32.35 price proposed in an earlier draft decision, with the additional unbundled bitstream access (UBA) component accounting for $10.92, and the unbundled copper local loop $23.52.

That compares with $44.98 currently charged by Chorus for retailers to access its services on copper and is cheaper than the $37.50 monthly charge the Government suggested at the bottom of its proposed range for services on a fibre network.

Prime Minister John Key earlier said of the draft determination that it could send Chorus broke and challenge the ultrafast broadband (UFB) rollout. Communications Minister Amy Adams then put any price controls on hold until November next year, subject to a review of UBA regulated pricing.

“In choosing a price from the benchmark set the Act directs us to promote competition, taking into account incentives to invest in new services such as UFB,” Gale says. “We have sought to ensure that we don’t underestimate the UBA price, which might hamper investment and disadvantage end-users over the long term.”

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