23 Sep 2013

Telecom wants end to copper price uncertainty

7:05 pm on 23 September 2013

Telecom does not believe lower copper prices will put people off moving to the fibre network but it does want regulatory uncertainty cleared up.

The company supports a proposal by the Government to set a higher total copper access price than the Commerce Commission wants.

The Government brought forward a review of the Telecommunications Act 2001 in response to a proposal by the Commerce Commission to slash the prices Chorus could charge retailers for access to broadband over the copper network.

The review proposed three options for setting the price, one of which is that it set the total price of a company's access to both Chorus' copper lines and the electronics at a range between $37.50 and $42.50.

The Government has said prices set by the commission could be substantially lower than the cost of replacing the network, and it wanted the price of copper and fibre to be roughly the same.

Telecom regulatory affairs general manager John Wesley-Smith said the company wanted to avoid spending another three years having a regulatory battle, and it just wanted certainty.

"So we are a strong supporter of the Government's UFB (ultra fast broadband) initiative to the extent that changes to policy settings are needed to make sure that that initiative is a success," Mr Wesley-Smith said.

"We're supportive of that. We think there are changes to policy settings that balance the interests of all of the groups involved."