Commerce Commission to investigate complaint about Chorus’ proposed changes to regulated broadband

Commerce Commission to investigate complaint about Chorus’ proposed changes to regulated broadband

Deadline for cross-submissions moved to 1 August.

The Commerce Commission will investigate a complaint that Chorus’ proposed changes to the regulated unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service are an enforceable breach under the Telecommunications Act.

The Commission received a complaint from Telecom about the changes to the (UBA) service, as part of the company’s submission on a new commercial broadband service that Chorus has developed to compete with UBA. CallPlus has also raised concerns over the legality of Chorus’ proposal in its submission.

“The Commission is very supportive of innovation within the industry and of commercial services that compete with regulated services, especially when it leads to improved services for consumers. However, regulated services must be properly maintained and not be eroded,” Dr Stephen Gale, Telecommunications Commissioner, said in a statement.

The investigation of the complaint will be undertaken under section 156o of the Telecommunications Act which requires the Commission to consider any complaints received. The investigation will determine whether Chorus’ proposed changes are likely to breach the UBA Standard Terms Determination.

Chorus initially advised the Commission of its proposal in May offering two new unregulated UBA services: Boost HD and Boost VDSL, withdrawing the regulated VDSL service and new bandwidth management settings for the regulated UBA service. On July 10 Chorus made a number of substantive amendments to its proposal.

The Commission is required to assess whether the proposed new unregulated UBA services are materially different from the regulated UBA service and can be priced separately. This assessment began in late May. The changes made by Chorus earlier this month are likely to have an impact on the timeline for the Commission’s assessment.

The commission said submissions received on the issues paper will be released today on its website. The deadline for cross-submissions has been extended until Friday 1 August to allow the industry additional time to fully evaluate the changes Chorus has made.

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