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The Commerce Commission today announced that no competitive services have developed for unbundled bitstream access (UBA) backhaul links. This means all UBA links will remain subject to the terms of the UBA backhaul Standard Terms Determination (STD). The decision is a result of a review by the Commission into whether Telecom faces competition for providing these services.

UBA backhaul service allows other telecommunications companies to supply broadband services to customers without the need to replicate Telecom’s copper local loop. UBA backhaul allows access to, and interconnection with, the part of Telecom’s fixed public data network that connects the customer’s building to Telecom’s first data switch (or equivalent facility).

“Competitive UBA backhaul markets have not developed because of the small number of enhanced UBA services that are being purchased from Telecom. In addition, unlike the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) backhaul, there is no appropriate commercial service that would allow alternative backhaul providers to aggregate backhaul traffic inside the exchange,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.

Where the Commission finds that there is competition on a link, the terms of the UBA backhaul STD will not apply. By contrast, where Telecom is found to face limited competition on a link, the terms of the UBA backhaul STD will apply.

The Commission intends to complete a review of all UBA backhaul links annually.

The final reports can be accessed on the Commission’s website: http://www.comcom.govt.nz/competition-reviews-for-uba-backhaul-and-ucll-backhaul-services/Background


In June 2008, the Commission released the UCLL and UBA backhaul Standard Terms Determination (STD), which set out which backhaul routes were subject to regulation, as well as the terms and conditions governing the supply of the backhaul service on those routes. This is the first review conducted by the Commission since the UBA backhaul service STD was issued.

As there are similarities between the UCLL and UBA backhaul services, a combined review process will be undertaken for both in the future. The review of all backhaul links will be conducted annually taking into account competition developments.

The Commission recently identified that more UCLL backhaul links have become competitive – an additional 88 links in its most recent review. More information on this review can be found on the Commission’s website http://www.comcom.govt.nz/competition-reviews-for-uba-backhaul-and-ucll-backhaul-services/The

The Commission’s UBA backhaul decision and related documents can be found on its website at www.comcom.govt.nz/unbundled-copper-local-loop-backhaul-service/