Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Chorus wins in push-back against proposed copper pricing

Chorus wins in push-back against proposed copper pricing, faces smaller reductions

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Chorus, the telecommunications network operator, won't have to cut its prices for copper-line services as deeply as initially feared after the antitrust regulator set pricing over the unbundled copper local loop.

The Commerce Commission has set the new geographically averaged price at $23.52 per month per line from Dec. 1, 2014, a 3.9 percent reduction to the prices set in 2007, it said in a statement. That's a smaller cut than the $19.75/month price flag in its draft determination. Urban UCLL prices have been set at $19.08 and rural at $35.20, effective immediately.

The UCLL service lets the telecommunication companies use the copper network between an exchange and an end-customer's premises to offer their own voice and broadband services.

"Following feedback, submissions and a conference in September on this topic, the commission and most parties now agree that there is no clear evidence that the shorter lines cost less and that it is preferable that all lines be priced the same regardless of length," the regulator said. "This is the approach the commission has adopted in its final decision."

The draft determination created uncertainty around Chorus' future, which argued the cheaper pricing regime would be unfair and deter people from buying into the fibre network it’s rolling through the country.

Chorus was spun-out from Telecom as a separately-listed company last year to free up the telecommunications company from its regulatory burden and allow the network operator to successfully win a billion dollar subsidy to build a nationwide fibre network and rural broadband system.

Some 80 percent of the network company's revenue is still derived from the ageing copper network, and is subject to a pricing review by the Commerce Commission.

Shares in Chorus climbed 1.8 percent to $3.40 in trading on Friday, and have gained 9 percent this year.

Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale said it was difficult to determine relevant benchmarks with little international evidence, but concluded "the relevant costs in New Zealand are likely to have dropped since 2007."

In a separate statement, the antitrust regulator proposed a full unbundled bitstream access service price at $32.45 per month, effective from Dec. 1, 2014, and will set a final benchmarked price in June after a period of consultation. The price is currently $44.98.

UBA services let telecommunication companies supply broadband services to customers without having to replicate Chorus' electronics or software.

The most significant part of the proposed cut is the reduction in the non-UCLL component, which fell to $8.93 from $21.46 for the basic service.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Sweet Health: Sugary Drinks Banned From Hospitals And Health Boards

All hospitals and DHBs are expected to kick sugary drinks out of their premises. University of Auckland researcher, Dr Gerhard Sundborn who also heads public health advocacy group “FIZZ”, says he welcomes the initiative. More>>


NASA: Evidence Of Liquid Water On Today's Mars

Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. More>>


Bird Brains: Robins Can Just Be Generally Clever

Research from Victoria University of Wellington has revealed that birds may possess a ‘general intelligence’ similar to humans, with some individuals able to excel in multiple cognitive tests. More>>


Psa-V: Positive Result On Whangarei Kiwifruit Orchard

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has received a Psa-V positive test result on Hort16A and male vines on a kiwifruit orchard in Whangarei. This is the first confirmed case of Psa-V on an orchard in the Whangarei region. More>>

Regional Accents: Are Microbes The Key To Geographical Differences In Wine?

A new study of six of New Zealand’s major wine-growing regions has found that differences in flavour and aroma of wine from different areas may depend more on microbes than was previously thought. More>>


Science: AgResearch To Cut Science Staff In Areas Of 'Reduced Demand'

“We are therefore consulting with our staff from today on a proposal to reduce science staff in areas of shrinking demand. Combined with recruitment planned in areas of growing demand, this would mean a net reduction of 15 scientists and 41 technicians at AgResearch in the 2015/16 year." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news