Orcon posts open letter to ComCom

CEO urges review of sub-loop decision

Orcon’s CEO Scott Bartlett has come out fighting on the unbundled sub-loop decision. Last week, the Commerce Commission set a monthly rental charge that Telecom’s competitors must pay for access to the sub-loop unbundled copper local loop service. The charge will be $11.99 per line in urban areas and $22.14 per line in non-urban areas.

In an open letter addressed to Commerce Commission chair Dr Mark Berry he says the ruling will create a non-competitive broadband market from which there will be only one beneficiary, Telecom.

“The decision effectively removes the preceding two years’ improvements to the competitive broadband and fixed line telephone landscape in New Zealand,” writes Bartlett.

He says the pricing and terms set out in the commission’s sub-loop determination fail to protect consumers from a dominant player and risk returning Telecom to a monopoly position.

Bartlett claims the decision is flawed for a number of reasons because it relies on unaudited inflated cost information provided by Telecom and also enables the rival telco to proceed with its cabinet roll-out and by-pass the 24-month notice period required by law to give a “fair go” to those businesses that unbundled the telephone exchange loop.

“Orcon does not expect Telecom to subsidise the industry, nor that special rights or terms be afforded to any segment of the market.”

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