Telecom has published a discussion paper on its website that outlines the upcoming DSL-based Unbundled Bitstream Service (UBS).
UBS is set to launch in September, with the initial residential service being 256Kbit/s downstream, and 128Kbit/s upstream. A business-grade UBS service, also 256/128Kbit/s plus a 512/128Kbit/s service will follow at a later unspecified date.
ISPs must provide UBS over Telecom lines to customers. Also, the UBS service will be disconnected if the customer's voice service is disconnected. Providers will get UBS as a Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP) service, and be responsible for authenticating and authorising users, as well as providing the network addressing for them.
Telecom is looking at charging providers $27.95 plus GST per customer for less than 200 connections, and $25.50 for 201 and more connections. If the customer switches from Telecom-provided DSL to UBS, a $150 "churn fee" will be levied from the provider.
The ATM data backhaul to the provider's network will be comparatively cheap but "uncommitted bit rate" only, without any per-customer bandwidth provision specified. However, the document says "access seekers are able to purchase Telecom's other data services or competing services".
Helen Isbister of Telecom says it is providing uncommitted bitrate services because that provides a cost effective option for ISPs, rather the more expensive committed bitrate services.
"The ISPs can decided how much bandwidth they purchase and provide to their customers. If ISPs do want a committed bitrate service that is also available via wholesale, either from ourselves or from other providers."
The discussion paper says the cutoff for industry consultation is June 25. Final specification and pricing will be done by July 25 and a trial is planned for August. The commercial launch is slated for September.