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Broadband pricing controversy shows compromise needed


InternetNZ is calling on Internet Service Providers and Chorus to reach an agreement on reasonable pricing for fibre unbundling - and quickly.

Today, Chorus announced prices for their proposed unbundled fibre services. Some ISPs are claiming the price is too high and this will result in less benefit - and higher prices - for Internet users.

"Unbundling fibre is complicated, and there is clearly a disagreement about whether the pricing Chorus proposes is reasonable," says InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter.

Unbundling means retail ISPs, such as Spark and Vodafone, gain direct access to fibre broadband cables, so they can install their own technology and manage the whole service to their customer. Without unbundling, broadband package details - like their speed and so on - are managed by Chorus or other local fibre companies.

InternetNZ has been calling for unbundling for a long time.

"The unbundling of the copper broadband network worked well. It lead to increased investment, lower prices and better services for New Zealanders. Fibre unbundling could be just as good for New Zealand.

"Price is a major factor of why some New Zealanders don’t have access to the Internet. Any changes that could potentially increase Internet prices would be a terrible thing and would only expand digital divides.

"We’ll listen to Chorus’s views and the ISPs as we analyse the unbundling proposal in more detail - today, we don’t know enough to take a view on whether Chorus or the ISPs are right.

"It’s important that ISPs and Chorus work together to find a mutually agreed solution to unbundling fibre, otherwise the Commerce Commission will need to be involved to find a fair price.

"It would be a shame if New Zealand’s Internet users had to wait for the Commission to sort this out," says Carter.

ENDS


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