CallPlus: Copper pricing decision "kick in the guts" for unbundlers

"Today’s announcement is a massive kick in the guts for unbundlers."

Today’s broadband pricing decision will end up costing Kiwi consumers, according to Kiwi telco CallPlus.

“The industry has been expecting wholesale prices significantly lower than the $38.39 announced today,” says Mark Callander, CEO CallPlus.

“The good news for Kiwi consumers is that Flip, Orcon and Slingshot’s current prices were implemented in anticipation of a lower wholesale price.

"The bad news is that with today’s announcement, any further price innovation will be tricky.”

However, Callander says, that more troubling for competition is the UCLL price hike.

“Companies such as ours have spent millions unbundling," he says. Unbundling has bought price reductions and innovation to Kiwis – and ultimately driven down broadband costs across the country.

"Today’s announcement is a massive kick in the guts for unbundlers. If today’s price remains it will penalise competitors who have invested in their own equipment to control broadband services and provide innovation as a result.”

Callander says CallPlus is reviewing the announcement and details in-depth, and will weigh up its options in the coming days.

“We know the Commission is keen to finish the process quickly, and end uncertainty, but more important is getting it right," he adds.

"This decision, if the price is unchanged, will have a serious impact on competition and it, ultimately, affects every New Zealander.

“We are surprised at the increase. Essentially it’s just grabbing a few extra bucks from every Kiwi household, month-in, month-out, and transferring it to Chorus’ shareholders.

“That doesn’t sit well with us.”