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Backhaul study back on ComCom's agenda

Backhaul study back on ComCom's agenda

With legislative roadblocks removed, The Commerce Commission is once again taking a close look at backhaul services.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale

The Commerce Commission is recommencing a study, put on hold in February last year, into domestic telecommunication backhaul services. 

In August 2016 the Commission initiated the study under section 9A of the Telecommunications Act to better understand how domestic backhaul services had evolved and how demand for different services may develop in future.

From there it would determine whether regulatory changes promote the long-term interests of consumers.

Backhaul is a link that carries mobile, internet and voice traffic back from local exchanges, mobile and wireless sites to the core networks of service providers like Vocus, Vodafone, and Spark.

The study, however, was put on hold in February 2017 while the government reviewed the Telecommunications Act.

The outcome of that, the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill, is now before Parliament and the Commission said it is  time to restart the study. 

“We see backhaul as critical to ensuring New Zealanders can benefit from effective access to comprehensive broadband services, especially with the rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.

“The submissions we have already received have helped us to better understand the market. We intend to gather further information on a range of matters raised in submissions. This information will help us decide where to focus the remainder of the study."


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