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Draft decision on service levels of Chorus UBA

9 November 2016
Release No. 52

Commission releases draft decision on service levels of Chorus UBA

The Commerce Commission has today released the draft decision in its review of the non-price features of the Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) service.

The purpose of this review is to clarify the service requirements in the Standard Terms Determination (STD) for UBA to ensure that the regulated service remains suitable for a range of general internet uses.

Regulated UBA provides one way of supplying broadband services, allowing retail telecommunications companies to provide internet services over Chorus’ local copper network without the need to install their own equipment in exchanges. The UBA STD sets the terms of the service that Chorus must offer to retail companies.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said the UBA STD was first released in 2007 and the Commission is undertaking this review to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

“During our review, submitters generally agreed that the UBA STD should be updated to capture what Chorus is providing today, and continue to support consumer demand,” Dr Gale said.

“In simple terms our draft decision is that Chorus should upgrade its capacity as needs grow so that retail telecommunications companies and consumers can continue to make best use of the capacity of the copper lines. This approach will enable retailers to continue to offer competitive differentiated broadband products over copper lines. Although the UFB footprint is expanding rapidly, the copper network will remain an important delivery platform for a significant portion of the population in the near future.”

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The Commission’s current view is to exempt around 19,000 lines in Chorus’ remote legacy ATM network from the proposed service standards, and assess the need of another section 30R review when it is clear where the second phase of rural broadband initiative funding will be targeted. This initiative is part of the Government’s connectivity targets for broadband in New Zealand.

“We will require Chorus to report on the congestion levels on the UBA network and its plans to relieve the congestion where the network is nearing capacity. This should provide useful clarity for retailers and consumers.”

A copy of the draft decision can be found on the Commission’s website.

Submissions on the draft decision close at 5pm on 30 November. Cross-submissions must be received by 5pm on 15 December. The Commission anticipates releasing its final decision in March 2017.


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