Backhaul services report released, submissions called for

Commerce Commission asks for feedback on UCLL and UBA backhaul

The Commerce Commission has released a revised draft report on the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) backhaul service and a draft report on the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) backhaul service.

In a statement posted on the NZX website today, the Commission notes: "Backhaul is the final link connecting competitors to Telecom’s networks, so those competitors can provide communication services such as voice and broadband to households, without having to replicate Telecom’s network. Where the Commission finds that a link is competitive, it will not be subject to regulation. By contrast, where Telecom is found to face limited competition, a link will be regulated.

"The Commission released a draft report for UCLL backhaul in August 2010. After considering the issues raised in submissions and other relevant information, the Commission has altered the assessment criteria which determine when alternative backhaul operators are considered to be a competitive constraint on Telecom.

Telecommunications Comissioner Ross Patterson is quoted in the statement as saying: “The Commission now considers that any alternative backhaul operator that is within 1-2 kilometres of a Telecom exchange will be considered a competitive constraint on Telecom unless the backhaul operator has publicly stated that it does not intend to connect to the exchange. This change to the criteria more appropriately reflects the extent to which Telecom is constrained in backhaul markets.

"Using the revised framework, the Commission has issued a revised draft review for the UCLL backhaul service which concludes that Telecom faces competition from other providers of backhaul services on 111 out of 207 links. For these links, the UCLL backhaul service is not available as regulated service” Patterson says.

The Commission has also issued the first review for the UBA Backhaul service which applies the same criteria and concludes that Telecom faces competition from other providers of backhaul

services on 37 out of 92 links. For these links, the regulated UBA backhaul service is not available as regulated service.

Interested parties have an opportunity to make submissions on both draft reports by 5pm on 7 October 2010. Submissions can be sent to telco@comcom.govt.nz. The reports can be viewed at the Commission's website.

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