Comcom issues final unbundling determination

Increased monthly charges put a 'big question mark' over investment, says Orcon CEO

The Commerce Commision has released its price and non-price terms for local loop unbundling.

The final determination released today set out the terms on which Telecom must make its unbundled local loop and co-location services available to other telcos and ISPs.

The monthly rental charges for access to the local loop service is set at $19.84 per month for urban areas and $36.63 per month for non-urban areas. The charge for the transfer of a customer to the service is at $74.83.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson says the final monthly loop prices are higher than in its July draft determination as some additional relevant prices have been benchmarked.

However, the chief executive of ISP Orcon, Scott Bartlett, says those increases put a question mark over investment in LLU.

"The final determination increases the cost of a line by more than 20% in urban areas, and 14% in rural areas" Bartlett said in a statement, "that raises some serious questions about our ability to go beyond the five trial exchanges we have now invested in infrastructure in.

“The prices at $19.84 for urban lines and $36.63 for rural lines are a dramatic increase from the draft, and will stifle investment by Telecom’s competitors."

The determination contains a 15-month implementation commencing from the determination date. This will involve a soft launch at up to 15 exchanges during January to April 2008, and up to 15 further exchanges a quarter for the next year.

This would result in up to 75 unbundled exchanges by April 2009.

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Tags telecomNetworking & Telecomms IDlluunbundlingross paterson

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