11 Apr 2014

Chorus seeking to appeal High Court ruling

11:18 am on 11 April 2014

Chorus is seeking leave to appeal the High Court's rejection of its appeal against a decision by the Commerce Commission last November that the company must halve the wholesale cost of broadband access to its copper wires.

The commission ruled that Chorus must cut its charges for broadband access to $10.92 from 1 December, based on benchmarking against other countries.

General counsel Vanessa Oakley said Chorus must continue to use every option available to it in order to provide clarification of the prices it can charge.

Ms Oakley said pricing is a critical part of the regulatiory regime and affects both current and future industry outcomes.

She said that Chorus continuing to appeal the original decision won't disturb the Commerce Commission's review of what it actually costs Chorus to provide access for both voice and broadband services over its copper wires.

The commission has undertaken to deliver its decision by 1 December.

The continuinuation of legal action by Chorus is despite its admission earlier this week that it can appeal only on a question of law and not on the merits of its case.

Analysts say that, given the care the Commerce Commission took to follow its legislation in making the pricing decision, Chorus is unlikely to win this legal battle.

Chorus said earlier this week that it still believes that benchmarking is an outdated methodology.

However, the legislation requires the Commerce Commission to use benchmarking.