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Vocus Group responds to Telecommunications Act Reform

Vocus Group has welcomed the final details of the Telecommunications Act review announced by Minister for Communications Simon Bridges, but highlights some areas for concern.

Mark Callander, Chief Executive New Zealand says the anchor product should be faster.

“It’s disappointing to see that the regulated fibre anchor product hasn’t been increased from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. Instead they’ve said that ‘the price capped fibre broadband anchor product is intended to be an entry-level product; not the most popular product’. But we know that speed is important and that our consumers are demanding faster speeds – around 50% of Orcon’s sales are for gigabit fibre – and we expect demand for these services to increase.

“What that means is that we have a regime whereby most new Zealanders will not be on a fibre service that has its price regulated – LFCs are free to decide whether to offer faster services and charge what they want so long as they don’t exceed a revenue cap set by the Commission. That’s open to gaming by the monopoly LFC. My concern is that NZ will be slow to introduce newer, faster technologies or charge a monopoly price for them in the early days.

“Though I’m pleased to see in the review that the Minister will be writing to the Commerce Commission to conduct a study into the wholesale Mobile market. NZ has only a fraction of a percent of its mobile connections from wholesalers – this is significantly lower than the majority of countries and stifles innovation and competition in the mobile market. Vocus supports any initiatives from the Minister to give the Commission ‘enhanced capability to address emerging issues with wholesale mobile markets.’”

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