InternetNZ releases submission on proposed UBA changes

InternetNZ has today released its submission to the Commerce Commission on the Commission's UBA Variants consultation paper, along with a legal opinion that offers some sharp perspectives on Chorus's proposals.

"I've applauded Chorus for taking the initiative in proposing new commercial products, but some of the changes they are seeking approval to make don't quite cut the mustard," says Jordan Carter, Chief Executive.

"While the Chorus offer of new commercial fibre services at higher speeds for modestly higher prices is hugely important and very welcome, there are proposals related to copper broadband that are attracting deserved scrutiny.

"One of these is Chorus' proposal to withdraw the current VDSL product from service and replace it with a new commercial Boost VDSL alternative. Our legal advice suggests this just isn't a viable option for Chorus to pursue.

"Another is the proposal to restrict future evolution of the basic Unbundled Bitstream Access product. Our problem with this is simple. The regulatory product baseline should evolve in line with what the law requires. Our advice is that that means continued improvement - not the de-facto flatline Chorus is proposing.

"We note that this morning the Commission has said it will investigate a complaint by Telecom in respect of these matters. I have no comment to offer on that process, other than to commend the Commission for dealing with all the issues Boost has given rise to at once, and for their decision to extend the time available for cross-submissions by a few days to give people the chance to respond with consideration. 

"Chorus is not in an easy position. I respect their desire to increase their revenue, and the efforts they are making to innovate and deliver new commercial options for their retailer customers.

"They won't always get it right, but that should not discourage them from considering other ways to make best use of their copper and fibre networks - both in their own interests, and in the interests of New Zealand Internet users," Jordan Carter says.

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