Sub-loop Related Services
Standard Terms Determination Processes Initiated For The Sub-loop Related Services
The Commission has initiated standard terms determination (STD) processes for the following sub-loop related services:
unbundled copper local loop from Telecom’s distribution
- backhaul from Telecom’s
distribution cabinet to the exchange;
co-location services at Telecom’s distribution cabinets.
The Commission must set the price and non-price terms for these services to enable access seekers to supply services from Telecom’s distribution cabinets.
Access to Telecom’s distribution cabinets will promote competition in broadband service markets, and give opportunities for access seekers to provide innovative retail services that will take advantage of shortened copper loop lengths.
The Commission will conduct scoping workshops on these sub-loop related services from 20 to 21 February 2008, after which Telecom will be required to submit standard terms proposals (STPs) for the supply of these services. Following consultation on Telecom’s STPs, the Commission will set price and non-price terms for the supply of these services.
Access seekers will have the opportunity to comment on Telecom’s STPs, after which the Commission will release a draft STD for each service. After further industry consultation the Commission will issue a final standard terms determination setting the price and non-price terms for each service.
The Commission acknowledges the ongoing work of the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum working parties, and their contribution to technical specifications of the services, and other operational requirements. That work is expected to contribute significantly to the successful completion of the standard terms determination processes.
On 22 December 2006, the relevant provisions of the Telecommunications Amendment Act (No 2) 2006 came into force. The entirely new subpart 2A of the Act enables the Commission to make, as an alternative to bilateral access determinations, a determination on which a designated access or specified service must be supplied with reference to all access seekers and access providers of the service. Such a determination is referred to as a standard terms determination. Section 30C provides that the Commission may, on its own initiative, initiate the standard terms development process for any of the designated or specified services within the Act.
Section 30D requires that the Commission give public notice of the standard terms process. It is also required, under section 30E, to conduct 1 or more scoping workshops in relation to the designated or specified services. The purpose of a scoping workshop is to provide the Commission with information to assist it in specifying the period of time within which an access provider must submit a standard terms proposal, and any additional requirements for that proposal.
Section 30F sets out that after the scoping workshop the Commission must give written notice to 1 or more access providers of the service requiring them to submit to the Commission, by the date specified in the notice, a standard terms proposal that complies with section 30G. The access provider must comply with this request. If the access provider does not comply with the request, section 30H provides that the Commission may either request another access provider or access seeker to submit a proposal, or prepare a draft standard terms determination even though it has not received a standard terms proposal.
Upon receipt of a standard terms proposal the Commission is required under section 30I to give notice of the proposal and specify a date for submissions on the proposal. After the consultation round, the Commission must then prepare a draft standard terms determination in accordance with section 30K. The draft standard terms determination must include both price and non-price terms. The Commission must request submissions on the draft determination. Section 30L sets out that if the Commission considers that persons other than the parties to the determination have a material interest in a standard terms determination, it must consult those persons or hold a conference in relation to the matter.
After completing consultation on the draft standard terms determination, the Commission must prepare a final standard terms determination that includes all the matters set out in section 30O and the additional matters set out in 30P where appropriate. Most importantly, a standard terms determination must specify sufficient terms to allow, without the need for the access seeker to enter into an agreement with the access provider, the designated access service or specified service to be made available within the specified timeframe.