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Framework for considering Chorus’ copper services published

Framework for considering Chorus’ copper services ahead of conference

The Commerce Commission today published a paper outlining the relationship between Chorus’ regulated copper services and associated pricing principles. The copper services considered in the paper are the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL), unbundled copper low frequency service (UCLFS) and sub-loop services.

The Commission is publishing the paper as part of the process towards re-benchmarking the prices for UCLL and UCLFS. The process has been running since this time last year and is expected to be completed with a final decision in mid-November.

“There has been a lot of interest in this process. Following considerable feedback from the industry and interested parties on our draft decision, we did some further analysis and as a result have proposed this new framework for considering the relationship between Chorus’ regulated copper services,” said Dr Stephen Gale, Telecommunications Commissioner.

“As this framework was not part of the submissions process, we wanted to ensure that all parties were aware of how our thinking had moved on, so have released this paper ahead of the conference to aid discussion,” said Dr Gale.

“It is important to note that we have made no final decision about the re-benchmarking of the UCLL price and will be considering all the submissions we have received and the discussion at the conference in September – this is just another step in the process.”

This paper puts forward the framework the Commission considers is appropriate for considering the relationship between Chorus’s regulated copper services. Specifically, the paper highlights the differences between the service descriptions in Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act and service descriptions in the Standard Terms Determinations (STD) for UCLL and UCLFS.

“Using this framework we conclude a Schedule 3 investigation would not be required to set separate prices under the UCLL and UCLFS STDs. Instead, separate pricing could be achieved under a section 30R review of the UCLFS STD, and this approach reduces some of the uncertainty that a Schedule 3 investigation would have brought,” said Dr Gale.

The Commission will host a public conference from 19-20 September with the final decision expected in mid-November.

You can find a copy of the discussion document on the Commission’s website: www.comcom.govt.nz/re-benchmarking-prices-for-chorus-s-unbundled-copper-local-loop-service

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