Local loop unbundling is likely to have greatest impact on organisations outside the CBDs of the main centres, where many telecomms users have already switched from Telecom to TelstraClear.
In its draft report released last week, the Commerce Commission recommended unbundling of Telecom’s local loop and its fixed Public Data Network (see Unbundling decision "illogical" says Telecom).
According to Auckland University of Technology lecturer Leo Neal, a former board member of the Telecommunications User Association (TUANZ), unbundling potentially offers businesses many benefits. But the gains shouldn’t be at the price of increased bills for residential customers.
Neal says that from the point of view of businesses, which have significant leverage when negotiating telecomms deals, LLU would be a “significant enhancement”.
Christchurch City Council recently inked a voice and data deal with TelstraClear which saved it $400,000 on its previous deal with Telecom and council MIS manager John Edmonds says while LLU would provide some benefits to the council, they would be limited. The council’s TelstraClear service uses the carrier’s Christchurch fibre network.
However, “there are some Telecom tails and [LLU] may allow TelstraClear to get better reach to our network”.
Catherine Rusby, CIO at IAG Insurance, which last month signed a four-year, $40 million voice, video, data and mobile deal with TelstraClear, says LLU is a residential issue.
Following the release of the draft report on September 18, the commission is seeking submissions and will hold a conference next month before it makes its final recommendation to Minister of Communications Paul Swain in December.