19 May 2011

TelstraClear ready to call commission

7:32 am on 19 May 2011

TelstraClear is warning it won't be shy about calling in the Commerce Commission if the price it has to pay to use the ultrafast broadband network, rises too much.

The Government has backed down over a regulatory holiday, meaning the commission will now oversee wholesale prices over the 8.5 years.

TelstraClear spent almost $1 million campaigning for a referee to oversee the ultrafast broadband network and says it's money well spent.

It will be among companies buying broadband from those building the network.

Chief executive Allan Freeth says that having the Commerce Commission in the loop means there will be a greater chance of the ultra fast broadband intiative succeeding.

But, Dr Freeth says he still expects wholesale prices to increase over time, and there's potential for the prices to become anti-competitive.

He also says it's still unclear what TelstraClear will be charged to use the ultrafast broadband network.

Communications Minister Steven Joyce says the companies that will be building and using the ultrafast broadband network now have more certainty.

IDC telecommunciations research director Rosalie Nelson says a lot of detail is still to be released about how the ultrafast broadband network will be used, but the initial step allowing the Commerce Commission oversight is positive.