The Commerce Commission is consulting with the telecommunications industry over what price Chorus can charge rivals to access its copper telephone lines, suggesting a review process could be accelerated and the final price backdated.
The Commerce Commission is reviewing the price by building a full cost model on Chorus’s unbundled local loop, which lets retailers rent the lines for voice and broadband services. That differs from the unbundled bitstream access services, currently in dispute, which lets retailers use Chorus’s software and electronics to supply broadband services without having to build their own.
The process is complex and can take years and the regulator is seeking industry views on whether a shorter process may be desirable even if it involves trade-offs, regulation manager John Hamill said in a statement.
The regulator is also seeking views on whether it should backdate the final price, which is favoured by the Court of Appeal.
The Commission is holding an informal industry workshop this month to work through some of the key issues, it said.
Chorus sought the final pricing principle after the regulator set the geographically averaged price at $23.52 per month per line. The change was the result of the regulator adopting a new methodology to set the prices after Chorus was spun out of Telecom in 2011.