3 Apr 2013

Commission presses on with broadband pricing review

6:52 pm on 3 April 2013

The Commerce Commission will press on with its review of the price Chorus can charge to access the broadband part of its copper-based network, despite the Government's wider plans to overhaul telecommunications rules.

The commission has delayed its timetable to benchmark wholesale prices set by Chorus to internet service providers (ISPs) by two months and will issue a final decision by August.

Chorus has said the proposed cuts will cost it $160 million a year, and argued its implementation would deter people shifting from the copper wire network to the fibre network.

The company wanted the commission to delay the process until the end of the year.

Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale said the savings from doing so did not outweigh its legislative requirements to carry on the process.

Dr Gale said most of the industry indicated they would prefer some certainty on this issue and would like it settled now.

Even if there's no change due to the Government's review, Dr Gale said any new pricing would not come into effect until some time in 2015.

In a draft report in December, the commission proposed slashing the price Chorus could charge for wholesale copper broadband connections from $21.46 a month to $8.93 a month.