The Commerce Commission says it is undertaking the review in order to ensure that the regulated Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) Standard Terms Determination (STD) “meets the needs of typical end-users over the medium term”.
The Commission on Thursday released a consultation document on the non-price terms of the UBA and is seeking industry feedback on the key issues it will review.
But, the Commission says that while the review is not expected to affect the UBA price, it will consider if any updated calculation of the UBA price is necessary because of a ‘change in circumstances’, as required by the Telecommunications Act.
Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said the UBA STD was first released in 2007, before Chorus was separated from Telecom (now Spark ), and the non-price terms now need to be reviewed to assess whether they are still “fit for purpose in today’s environment”.
“While the regulated UBA service has evolved over time, we recognise that there remains some uncertainty over what Chorus is required to provide. By clarifying the technical features our aim is to ensure the regulated service remains suitable for typical broadband customers, and allows Chorus to develop commercial variants for specific user groups.
“Additionally, having recently completed our TSLRIC pricing review of the UBA service, this review will be helpful in considering whether and how the UBA service description and the TSLRIC pricing principle modelling decisions should be aligned.”
UBA is one method of supplying broadband services – allowing retail telecommunications companies to provide internet services over Chorus’ copper network without the need to install their own equipment in exchanges. The UBA STD sets the price and technical features of the service that Chorus must offer to retail companies.
And, under the current UBA STD, Chorus must offer the designated UBA service at the regulated price but is able - subject to notifying the Commission - to offer commercial variants of UBA services at different prices.