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Commerce Commission reviewing NZ fibre ahead of regulation Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand’s competition regulator, The Commerce Commission, has launched a study of fibre services, to help it prepare for future regulation of fibre networks across the country.

The study has been launched as New Zealand’s fibre networks are currently being built by telecommunications infrastructure provider Chorus and three local fibre companies as part of the government’s ultrafast fibre broadband initiative.

The networks are designed to supply voice and broadband services to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

“This study will give us a better understanding of providers’ networks, fibre services, network operations and business practices,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.

The New Zealand parliament is currently considering the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill which proposes a utility-style regulatory regime for fibre networks, similar to what applies for energy networks and airports.

“Implementing any new regulatory regime for fibre will be a major undertaking for the Commission. It is important we take steps now to increase our understanding of the industry and inform our future work,” Dr Gale said.

“Starting this study now under our market studies power in the Telecommunications Act gives us a head start on gathering information from Chorus and the local fibre companies. We expect the information about fibre services to be useful regardless of the form that regulation might take.”

Dr Gale said the Commission — which is holding a workshop with the industry on 2 May — intends to publish a high-level summary of its findings at the conclusion of the study.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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