17 Sep 2013

Backing for Govt intervention in copper network

8:22 pm on 17 September 2013

A former telecommunications commissioner is backing Government intervention in deciding how much companies can charge for using the old copper broadband network.

Under the Government's intervention, Chorus would have to cut charges for access to its copper network by up to $7.50 per connection, compared with the Commerce Commission's proposed cut of up to $12.

Chorus is building 70% of the new ultra-fast broadband, or UFB, network.

Former telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson said if the copper price was too low, UFB take-up would not be as high.

"You've got to provide incentives of some sort to encourage a customer to take a fibre network," Mr Patterson said.

"(Otherwise) a lot of consumers will say 'look, I'm happy with what I've got'."

Dr Patterson was confident there were economic advantages to the roll out, once the fibre was in the ground.