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Current UBS not the service recommended by Com.


Media Release

Issued 13 August 2004-05/017

Current UBS not the service recommended by the Commission

The Commerce Commission is advising businesses that the Unbundled Bitstream Service (UBS) currently being offered commercially by Telecom New Zealand differs significantly from the regulated bitstream service, recommended by the Commission in its unbundling report to the Minister of Communications, and due to come into force shortly.

The Commission has become aware that the service being currently offered by Telecom has more limited characteristics than the bitstream service recommended by the Commission.

“I would be concerned if telecommunications industry participants signed up to the current Telecom commercial offer under the impression that it was a proxy for the regulated service.” said Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb.

“The Commission’s bitstream service is a flexible service designed to promote competition through greater product differentiation, and is not tied to Telecom’s retail services.”

The Commission expects that the availability of the regulated bitstream service will enable competitors to devise product offerings which differ from the standard Telecom JetStream offerings.

A copy of the recommended service description for the regulated bitstream service is attached.

Background

On 22 December 2003, the Commission released its final report on the investigation into unbundling the local loop network and the fixed public data network. As part of its report, the Commission recommended that access to an asymmetric DSL bitstream service, suitable for the residential and SME broadband market, should be a regulated service under the Telecommunications Act 2001. The Commission also recommended that access to a backhaul transmission service be regulated to complement the bitstream service.

On 19 May 2004, the Minister of Communications accepted the Commission’s recommendations, subject to some minor alterations which needed to be made to the wording of the bitstream service description to be incorporated within Schedule 1 of the Act. On 24 June 2004, the Commission provided the Minister with an updated version of the bitstream service description which better reflected the service envisaged by the Commission.

On 13 July 2004, the Minister formally accepted the Commission’s recommendations to designate both the unbundled bitstream service and related backhaul transmission service under the Act. Accordingly, the Minister is due to recommend that the Governor General make an Order in Council to designate these two services.

ENDS

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