New Zealand telco Spark (formerly Telecom New Zealand) has called on the country’s Commerce Commission to rethink its stance on the wholesale charges to be applied for access to the networks of national communications infrastructure owner Chorus. Spark’s General Manager of Regulatory Affairs, John Wesley-Smith, labelled the price increases as ‘unnecessary’ and claimed that the price for landline access was 80% higher than the median price in 14 comparable countries and 60% higher than the next most expensive country, Germany.
Under the new rules for unbundled bitstream access (UBA), as put forward by the Commission in December, Chorus will be able to charge operators NZD38.39 (USD30.10) a month for access rather than the rate of NZD34.44 which was initially proposed by the regulator in 2013 and which came into force on 1 December 2014. If approved, the new rate will be backdated to 1 December; a final decision is expected by April. Chorus was previously the networks arm of Spark/Telecom but was spun off into a separate entity in November 2011.