Telco reform consultation underway
New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released a consultation seeking feedback on the regulation of the copper network.
In July 2016 the Government released an options paper setting out details of a new ‘utility-style’ regime for fixed line communications services provided on the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network and Chorus’ copper network.
The proposed UFB reform package, now open for consultation, is based on feedback from industry and consumer groups. It will be implemented in 2020.
The proposed regulations take a different approach to the regulation of copper services, focusing primarily on New Zealand’s fibre network. In areas where UFB or other fibre is available, the Government is proposing to deregulate the copper network from 2020 and remove the Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO).
In areas where UFB or other fibre is not available, the TSO obligation will be retained and Chorus will be required to continue supplying copper services at prices capped at 2019 levels. This is to ensure consumers have continued access to basic services at competitive prices, even when alternative networks are not available.
Submissions on the consultation paper close on 3 March 2017.
Image credit: Freepik