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Draft terms for local loop and bitstream backhaul

Draft standard terms released for local loop and bitstream backhaul services


The Commerce Commission has today released draft determinations on the price and non-price terms for the backhaul services that support the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) and unbundled bitstream (UBA) broadband services.

These services will allow Telecom's competitors to get access to transmission capacity between Telecom's local exchanges or data switches, and their networks.

"This is another important factor in improving competition in broadband telecommunications markets" Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner, said today.

"This follows the Commission's final determinations for the UCLL and Co-location Services released in November 2007 and for the UBA Service released in December 2007".

Having backhaul for both the UCLL and UBA Services available will allow companies to offer broadband services to their customers without having to build their own networks all the way to their customers. Instead, telecommunications companies can use Telecom's network and pay Telecom a cost-based price for the service.

The Commission's draft determinations are intended to include all terms necessary for a complete commercial agreement between Telecom and its competitors.

It is important to note that these are only draft determinations and more information on a number of issues has been requested from the industry. There will be a period of further consultation before final determinations are issued.

The closing date for submissions on the draft determinations is 7 March 2008. This will be followed by a period for cross-submissions.

On receiving submissions, the Commission will prepare the final determinations. It is anticipated that the final determinations will be issued in June 2008.

The Commission's draft determinations and related documents can be found on its web site at:


UBA backhaul service

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/IndustryRegulation/Telecommunications/
StandardTermsDeterminations/UnbundledBitstreamBackhaulService/DecisionsList.aspx


UCLL backhaul service

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/IndustryRegulation/Telecommunications/
StandardTermsDeterminations/UnbundledLocalLoopBackhaulService/DecisionsList.aspx


Background

The 'unbundled bitstream access backhaul service' provides transmission capacity in Telecom's network between the trunk side of Telecom's first data switch that is connected to the end-user's building and the access seeker's nearest available point of interconnection.

The 'unbundled copper local loop network backhaul (telephone exchange to interconnect point) service' provides transmission capacity in Telecom's network between the handover point in Telecom's local telephone exchange and the access seeker's nearest available point of interconnection, for the purpose of providing access to, and interconnection with, Telecom's unbundled copper local loop network.

On 22 December 2006, the Telecommunications Act was amended to incorporate a process for the Commission to make a standard terms determination on which a designated access or specified service must be supplied by an access provider to all access seekers requesting the service. A standard terms determination will include:

• non-price terms developed by an access provider, usually in consultation with access seekers; and
• price terms for access to the service, set by the Commission.

It is intended that a standard terms determination should be comprehensive enough and contain sufficient detail so that there is no need for an access seeker and access provider to enter into a separate agreement for provision of the service within the specified timeframe.

The Act specifies that the following steps must take place before a standard terms determination may be made by the Commission:

• Initiation of the determination process
• At least one scoping workshop
• Commission issues notice to provide a standard terms proposal
• Access provider submits a standard terms proposal
• Submissions from access seekers on the standard terms proposal
• Commission issues draft standard terms determination
• Parties to provide submissions on the draft standard terms determination
• Commission issues standard terms determination

Standard terms determinations for Telecom's unbundled copper local loop service and unbundled bitstream access service were released in November and December 2007 respectively. Access to the unbundled local loop service and bitstream access service is necessary for other operators to provide voice and/or data (e.g. high speed broadband) services to consumers.

A standard terms determination for the unbundled copper local loop co-location service was released in November 2007. A co-location service is necessary to allow other operators to co-locate their equipment in Telecom's local exchanges in order to access the unbundled local loop service.

A brief overview of the key steps in a standard terms determination process is available on the Commission's web site www.comcom.govt.nz under Industry Regulation/ Telecommunications / Standard Terms Determinations / Overview


ENDS

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