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Commerce Commission releases draft price for the unbundled copper local loop for consultation

4 May 2012

The Commerce Commission today published its revised draft decision re-benchmarking the wholesale price for the unbundled copper local loop service (UCLL). The UCLL service allows Chorus's competitors to use Chorus's copper network between an exchange and an end-user's premises to provide their own services to customers.

The proposed changes will result in a reduction in the geographically averaged UCLL wholesale price from its current average of $24.46 to a new average of $19.75.

The proposed UCLL prices will be phased in over two years from 1 December 2012. The new averaged price will apply to all lines from 1 December 2014. The current urban price will remain largely unchanged, while the non-urban price will fall from $36.63 to $19.75 over the next two and a half years.

The Commission is also consulting on whether there are reasonable grounds to commence a Schedule 3 investigation into whether the pricing principles for the unbundled copper low frequency service (UCLFS) should be amended. Currently the UCLFS price is the same as the UCLL price but the services are different. The UCLL loop length is 29% shorter on average than the UCLFS. As a result it may be the case that a different pricing formula is appropriate.

"This is a draft decision subject to rigorous consultation with all interested parties including TUANZ, access seekers, Chorus and local fibre companies. We will take their views into consideration when formulating the final decision," said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.

Submissions on the draft decision are due by 1 June 2012. Cross submissions will then be due by 15 June 2012.  If the Commission decides to hold a conference, it will be held in Wellington on 4 July 2012.  The Commission expects to release its final decision by mid-August 2012.

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

Background

Unbundled copper local loop  

The unbundled copper local loop network service (UCLL) enables telecommunications companies to have access to, and interconnect with, Chorus's copper local loop network. When telecommunications companies have this service they can supply voice and broadband services to retail customers without needing to replicate the local loop.    

Unbundled bitstream access

The unbundled bitstream access service (UBA) enables telecommunications companies to access, and interconnect with, the part of Chorus's fixed public data network   that connects the end-user's building to Chorus's first data switch (or equivalent facility) other than a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM).

Unbundled copper low frequency service

The unbundled copper low frequency service (UCLFS) enables telecommunications companies to access, and interconnect with, the low frequency (being the frequency band between 300 and 3400 Hz) in   Chorus's copper local loop network   that connects the end-user's building to the handover point in Chorus's local telephone exchange.

 

The Commission's standard terms determinations that regulate the price and non-price terms for the UCLL, UCLFS and UBA services and related documents can be found at:

www.comcom.govt.nz/standard-terms-determinations