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Study into telecommunication backhaul services starts

The Commerce Commission is recommencing its study into domestic telecommunication backhaul services.

'Backhaul' is a generic term used by the industry to describe 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.

“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.

In August 2016 the Commission started the study under section 9A of the Telecommunications Act. The aim of the study is to better understand how domestic backhaul services have evolved, how demand for different backhaul services may develop in future, and consider whether any regulatory changes would better promote the long-term interests of consumers.

The study was put on hold in February 2017 while the Government proceeded with its review of the Telecommunications Act. With the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill now before a parliamentary select committee, the Commission believes it is an appropriate time to restart the study.

“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,” Dr Gale said.

An updated timeframe for the study will be published once we have gathered further information from a number of parties.

More information on the study can be found on our website.


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