​Faster broadband “fundamental” to NZ future as Chorus welcomes Govt review

“The proposals from the Government represent another step towards enabling better broadband for New Zealanders."

Chorus has welcomed the release of the Government’s discussion document on the next stage of its telecommunications regulatory framework review.

“The proposals from the Government represent another step towards enabling better broadband for New Zealanders,” says Vanessa Oakley, General Counsel, Chorus.

“The Government’s discussion document is future-focused and recognises the substantial changes that have occurred since the current regulatory framework was put in place in 2001.”

Oakley says structural separation of wholesale and retail, open access and non-discrimination have essentially eliminated the problems that the 2001 legislation was trying to solve.

However, Oakley believes the market structure today is “substantially different” and the country’s changing digital environment, which upgraded communications infrastructure supports, requires new thinking to support outcomes for New Zealand.

For Oakley, the Government’s discussion document outlines a number of proposals for change.

“We agree that there is a strong case for a utility-style building block model of regulation,” Oakley adds. “Faster broadband is fundamental to New Zealand’s future.

“Chorus has made a tremendous amount of progress in bringing better broadband to New Zealand. In recent years, we have invested nearly $2 billion in fibre capability, with more investment to come.

“Given its open access, the on-going long-term investment and generational transition to better broadband on networks benefits everyone.

“The Government has recognised that very high quality communications infrastructure performs a critical role for our economy and society. It is in nobody’s interest to have regulatory processes potentially every year which produce price shocks and uncertainty.”

Oakley believes long term investment in infrastructure and services as well as an industry and end-user transition requires stability and price certainty for everyone.

As a result, Oakley believes the review is an opportunity to set the industry up for success for the future and enable it to focus on end users’ changing needs.

“Chorus will be providing a comprehensive submission to further support the development of the right policy environment that will drive the growth and innovation that will be enabled by upgraded infrastructure, along with encouraging innovative retail services for New Zealanders,” Oakley adds.

Submissions on the discussion document close on October 27, 2015.