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Commerce Com. to investigate ihug’s application

Commerce Commission to investigate ihug’s application

The Telecommunications Commissioner, Douglas Webb, has confirmed he will investigate ihug’s application for a determination relating to wholesale access to higher speed ADSL broadband. The Commerce Commission took only two days following submissions to respond to ihug’s request and stated it aims to reach a draft decision by 16 December 2004.

“The speed of the Commissioner’s response to ihug’s request suggests he too is extremely keen to investigate why Telecom can not provide the market with access to a 2 Mbps UBS (Unbundled Bitstream Service) by February 2005,” says ihug's General Manager, Guy Nelson. “Gaining this validation from the Commissioner, after months of unsuccessful negotiation with Telecom, moves us one step closer to creating a robust wholesale market with healthy broadband competition, for the long-term interests of customers.”

During its investigation the Commerce Commission will request Telecom provides a complete description of any constraints it faces in delivering higher speed UBS by February 2005, plus available options for overcoming them.

“I am – as I’m sure most internet users are - keen to see the final outcome of this investigation in the New Year, as it will reveal the true technical capabilities of Telecom and their reasons for continued delays on the delivery of the UBS service,” says Nelson.

In contrast, following the lodgement of ihug’s application, Telecom approached the Commerce Commissioner to dismiss the investigation, on the premise that there was no case to answer.

“With this investigation underway we believe the tide is changing for New Zealand internet users. From its current stagnant state, with limited offerings, the market could grow into a dynamic one, where new services and improved performance will allow customers to enjoy broadband in line with our international counterparts."


Ends

About ihug
Ihug Limited is New Zealand’s original Internet pioneer with over 120,000 current subscribers across broadband, dial-up and telephony products in New Zealand. ihug also provides wholesale broadband and satellite access and web services to other telecommunications operators and ISPs. The company has achieved its position from a culture of continuous innovation, which includes New Zealand’s first flat rate dial up Internet plans, high-speed Internet access, virus and spam email filtering, and being one of New Zealand’s leading VoIP telephony service providers.

In 2003 the company merged with iiNet Limited one of Australasia's largest Internet Service Providers. As of June 30, 2004, the iiNet Group had over 350,000 total subscribers using broadband, dial-up and telephony products in New Zealand and Australia.

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