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Complaints about Chorus spur ComCom to release unbundled fibre guidance

Complaints about Chorus spur ComCom to release unbundled fibre guidance

Retailer concern about Chorus pricing and terms spur release of draft access guidance

Unbundled fibre access guidance released after Vocus and Vodafone complain about Chorus' terms.

Unbundled fibre access guidance released after Vocus and Vodafone complain about Chorus' terms.

Credit: Dreamstime

The Commerce Commission has released draft guidance to help telcos understand its approach to monitoring and enforcing obligations around unbundled fibre access.

The move comes after Vocus and Vodafone sent a letter and an expert summary report by Network Strategies to the commission outlining their concerns about the proposed PON fibre access service price and pricing approach from Chorus. 

"They have asked the commission to consider intervening in relation to the terms on which a PON [passive optical network] fibre access service would be provided," the commission said.

Unbundling allows retailers to buy access to the fibre optic cables operated by Chorus and other local fibre companies (LFCs) instead of buying access to their full networks.

Retailers can then install their own equipment to deliver broadband products and services, such as specialist plans for heavy data users, telecommunications commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.

Undertakings with the Crown have obliged LFCs to offer unbundled services to retailers such as 2degrees, Vodafone, Vocus, Vector, Trustpower And Spark since 1 January on an equivalent and non-discriminatory basis, on networks developed as part of the government-funded Ultrafast Broadband rollout.

Some concern has been expressed by retailers, however, about whether the unbundled terms and prices offered are the equivalent of what LFCs effectively supply to themselves when they provide standard broadband services.

“Unbundling is important as it is designed to promote competition and innovation in fibre broadband services,” Gale said.

The draft guidance is designed to help the industry understand how ComCom interprets the obligations when enfocing its powers under the Telecommunications Act.

Consultation on the draft guidance is open until 28 April.


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Tags fibreUltrafast Broadband (UFB)Commerce CommissionChorsunbundled

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