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Published Monday 26 Nov 2018


Commerce Commission initial consultation on safeguards for consumers moving from copper to fibre.

 

The Commerce Commission today published initial documents beginning our consultations on safeguards for consumers moving from copper to fibre broadband.

The Commission wants to hear from industry participants as well as consumer groups on the proposed approach to identifying the fibre areas where Chorus can stop supplying copper services, what the minimum requirements in the copper withdrawal code should be, and if there are any additional provisions the Commission should include in the copper withdrawal code.

The Commission has published a process and issues paper for determining specified fibre areas and a letter requesting views on scope of the copper withdrawal code.

The specified fibre areas process and issues paper can be found on our website here, and the letter requesting views on the scope of the code can be found here.

Submissions

The Commission are now inviting submissions from interested parties on both the determining specified fibre areas process and issues paper.

Submissions on the specified fibre areas process and issues paper are due by 5pm, 8 February 2019.

Submissions on the scope of the copper withdrawal code scope are due by 5pm, 14 February 2019. Cross-submissions on the copper withdrawal code will close on 6 March 2019.

Submissions should be sent by email to regulation.branch@comcom.govt.nz, with the subject line as ‘Submission on specified fibre areas’ or ‘Submission on copper withdrawal code’. Any submissions received will be published on the Commerce Commission's website.

Please contact Sam Norman (Sam.Norman@comcom.govt.nz) if you have any questions.

Background

Under amendments to the Telecommunications Act 2001 passed earlier this month, the Commission is required to determine the initial geographic areas of New Zealand where fibre services are available to consumers by 1 January 2020. These areas will be known as specified fibre areas. Once identified as a specified fibre area, Chorus will be able to stop providing copper services in them, e.g. VDSL and ADSL broadband and the services it sells to support retail service providers providing voice services.

The Commission is also required to separately develop a copper withdrawal code that sets the minimum consumer protection requirements that will need to be met before Chorus can stop providing copper services. Before Chorus can stop providing copper services, consumers must have access to an equivalent fibre service; that is, they must be able to buy the same services over fibre that they currently have over copper.