Chorus shareholders took another hit on their investment
yesterday when the Commerce Commission said it was delaying
the final pricing principle (FPP) review for access to the
company's copper wire network.
The commission no longer aimed to complete the FPP reviews by
November 30 and instead was aiming for a draft decision on
both prices by December 1 and a final decision by April 1
Chorus shares dropped 6c to $1.68 after the decision was
announced and closed at $1.71.
Chorus general counsel Vanessa Oakley said the unbundled
bitstream access (UBA) price determined by benchmarking two
European countries would now take effect before the
commission completed its price reviews using cost modelling.
''Uncertainty increases for everyone today.
''While we acknowledge the FPP processes are challenging, we
are very disappointed the timetable aims announced by the
commission in February have now been changed.
''We agreed with the commission's statements in March that
prompt completion of those processes provided the best
certainty for everyone.''
Chorus also believed the appropriate levels of consultation
could be undertaken within the original time frame, she said.
However, Labour Party ICT spokeswoman Clare Curran said the
delay in the final copper price was sensible.
Getting the copper price settings right for New Zealand
consumers, and for the long-term good of the broadband
industry, was one of the most critical tasks the commission
faced this year, she said.
Labour supported the regulator's process and its willingness
to seek further industry input along the way, she said.
Telco retailers had expressed concerns about their ability to
engage effectively with the technical complexities of the
final copper pricing if consultation was confined to the
period after a draft determination.
The commission's annual telecommunications monitoring report
analysing the state of New Zealand's telecommunications
markets showed telecommunications services were delivering
more to consumers for less cost.
Spending on telecommunications services were about the same
in real terms as it was 10 years ago, but consumers were
getting far more for their money in terms of data, texts and
calling minutes, particularly in the mobile market.