Comcom regulates South Island backhaul

Move aimed to stimulate voice and data competition

The Commerce Commission has decided to regulate primary and secondary backhaul links in most of the South Island after determining those links were not subject to significant competition.

Backhaul allows Telecom's competitors to get access to transmission capacity between Telecom's local exchanges or data switches, and the competitors' networks.

"The regulation of these backhaul services will stimulate competition for retail customers, for the long term benefit of those customers, as well as reducing unnecessary duplication in network costs," Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson said in a statement today. "This is another important facet of improving competition in broadband telecommunications markets."

Patterson says having backhaul for both the UCLL and UBA services available will allow companies to offer broadband and voice services to their customers without having to build their own networks to those customers. Instead, providers can use Telecom's network and pay a cost-based price for the service.

"Backhaul for UCLL is regulated only where Telecom faces limited competition," he says. "The commission has determined that Telecom currently faces competition in most North Island primary and secondary links of the UCLL Backhaul Service. The Commission has however assessed that Telecom faces limited competition on most South Island primary and secondary links."

That determination (pdf) covers 20 out of 57 primary links the commission has assessed.

The Commission also determined that Telecom faces limited competition on the

following Secondary Links:

Kerikeri-Whangarei;

Whangarei-Glenfield;

Whangarei-Torbay;

Torbay-Glenfield;

New Plymouth-Hamilton;

New Plymouth-Palmerston North;

New Plymouth-Porirua; and

All South Island Secondary Links except Riccarton-Christchurch and Christchurch-

Wellington.

These will be subject to price and non-price regulation within 100 days.

The determination follows the Commission's final determinations for the UCLL and co-location services released in November 2007 and for the UBA Service released in December 2007.

The Sub-loop Unbundling Determination is expected to be released by the end of 2008.

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Tags Commerce CommissionbackhaulNetworking & Telecomms IDpatterson

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