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UBS - a step towards true broadband

UBS - a step towards true broadband

TelstraClear will be able to deliver services that are different to those provided by Telecom following today’s Commerce Commission decision on (UBS) Unbundled Bit Stream.

But TelstraClear Chief Executive Allan Freeth says, while it is a positive step forward, it isn’t real broadband.

“The ability to provide a range of download speeds and the flat-rate wholesale price means there will be some room to innovate and create real competition,” he says. “But it will be a service capped at 128kbps upstream, as per the regulation.”

Dr Freeth says today’s announcement is progress on the original Telecom UBS service because TelstraClear won’t be constrained by what Telecom offers at the retail level or its existing pricing.

“It’s especially heartening to see the Commission disagree with Telecom’s claims that unconstrained bit stream would create additional risk to customers and that the anti-competitive churn fee now reflects actual costs.”

Dr Freeth says it is too early to say when TelstraClear will be in the market with the new service.

“In addition to working through network and system issues, Telecom has already signalled its plans to appeal or pursue a judicial review of the Commission’s decision.”

“It’s disappointing that, having waited 13 months for a service that was supposed to increase broadband uptake more quickly than local loop unbundling, we are still not in the market. There are many thousands of customers who could be using broadband by now.”

“The opportunity for further delay is very real. We maintain our call for a speedy review of the regulatory environment by the Minister, with the introduction of unbundling soon afterward.”

Dr Freeth noted that setting the price of service at $27.87 meant it would be impossible for TelstraClear to offer the $30 per month broadband service Minister Cunliffe has called for.

He also noted that, although the Commission required a process to ensure Telecom provides end users of wholesale customers with the same level of service it delivers to retail customers, there was no way of ensuring Telecom actually delivered it.


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