The Commerce Commission today released a draft report on its review into whether Telecom New Zealand Limited faces competition in the provision of the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service. The UBA service is a wholesale broadband service that allows telecommunications operators to differentiate their retail products from Telecom’s retail broadband services.
Currently Telecom is required to provide other telecommunications operators access to the regulated UBA service on request. However in areas where Telecom faces effective competition, it would no longer be required to provide the regulated UBA service.
“The Commission considers that Telecom faces effective competition where there are two or more other suppliers providing broadband services using their own cable network or through the use of the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) service,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.
“Likewise, the Commission’s view is that Telecom faces effective competition in an exchange where there is only one UCLL service provider and the exchange is forecast to have at least 6500 lines after the cabinetisation process is complete in 2011,” said Dr Patterson.
The Commission considers that Telecom does not face effective competition in the provision of UBA services delivered from cabinets.
“Applying this test, the Commission’s view is that Telecom faces effective competition in 51 exchanges and the regulated UBA service will not be available on lines from these exchanges. The regulated UBA service will, however, be available from all cabinets,” said Dr. Patterson.
Interested parties have an opportunity to make submissions on the draft report by 5pm on 25 November 2010. Submissions can be sent to [email protected]
The draft report can be accessed on the Commission’s website at www.comcom.govt.nz/1st-competition-test-for-uba-std
Unbundled bitstream access
The unbundled bitstream access service (UBA service) refers to the service that enables access to, and interconnection with, that part of Telecom’s fixed public data network that connects the end-user’s building to Telecom’s first data switch (or equivalent facility) other than a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM). The UBA service allows telecommunications companies to supply broadband services to retail customers without the need to replicate Telecom’s copper local loop.
Telecom (Wholesale) is the Telecom business unit that supplies the UBA service.
The Commission’s Standard Terms Determination that regulates the price and non-price terms for the UBA service and related documents can be found at www.comcom.govt.nz/unbundled-bitstream-standard-access-service/
Cabinetisation. Telecom is currently in the process of deploying 3,600 roadside distribution cabinets throughout its network (a process referred to as cabinetisation). Cabinetisation is the basis for Telecom’s next generation fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) investment, and involves including fibre optic between its telephone exchange buildings and roadside cabinets with fibre optic cables. The cabinetisation process also includes moving some of the equipment used to provide telecommunications services from Telecom’s telephone exchange buildings to these roadside cabinets and investing in DSLAMS in the cabinets.
As a result of the deployment of fibre within the distribution network (between the distribution cabinet and the telephone exchange), cabinetisation reduces the length of the copper wire used to service an end-user. This facilitates the deployment of high-speed broadband technologies, such as ADSL2+, VDSL and VDSL2.