The New Zealand Herald has printed details of Crown Fibre Holdings’ (CFH) wholesale pricing structure for the country’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative, after coming into the possession of a leaked ‘price book’ belonging to the government management firm. Although the government has promised that the UFB initiative will guarantee New Zealanders download speeds of at least 100Mpbs (with corresponding upload speeds of 50Mbps), the price book reveals that the entry-level UFB service actually runs at 30Mbps downstream (10Mbps upstream). The entry-level package (including phone line and IPTV) is priced at NZD38.75 (USD28.9), whilst the 100Mbps package (also including phone line and IPTV) is priced at NZD58.75. Although actual retail costs for UFB plans have yet to be announced, the Commerce Commission has previously defined an 18% retail margin. Earlier this week, CommsUpdate reported that 13 internet service providers (ISPs) had committed themselves to re-sell fibre-optic services purchased from CFH-approved local fibre partners.
It has also been revealed that CFH’s wholesale partners must commit to the pricing template for a period of ten years, which has caused concern for operators fearful that fibre prices elsewhere in the world may drop off significantly over the next decade. Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) chief Paul Brislen commented: ‘We don’t know what will happen over the ten-year life span of the project, whether that goes down, whether that goes up, whether that includes international bandwidth. So trying to predict what I’ll be doing in ten years, let alone what I’ll be paying for it seems odd’.