Chorus' U-turn surprises InternetNZ
"Surely InternetNZ should now be supporting Chorus's submission."Featured comment
InternetNZ, the non-profit that administers the .nz domain and lobbies for an open and uncapturable internet, says it is surprised by Chorus' [NZX: CNU] submission on the Commerce Commission's process for determining the price of copper broadband.
The submission represents a huge departure from the company's original position when it lobbied Government and the public to impose a copper tax on Kiwi broadband users, IntenetNZ says.
"This is a U-turn by Chorus without any explanation why," says InternetNZ CEO, Jordan Carter.
Last year, Chorus strongly lobbied Government and the public arguing that the price it can charge for copper-based services should be calculated by reference to a new fibre-based network similar to UFB.
Yet in its submission to the Commission, made public yesterday, Chorus made an about-face on its earlier position. The company now says it wants the Commerce Commission to use its existing copper network as the reference point for calculation of the price, instead of a fibre-based network.
Mr Carter says that any time a company makes a major about-face like this, the reasons why must be looked into, something he said InternetNZ was now doing.
"We have seen Chorus' submission and we are surprised at the abrupt reversal in their position, compared with their arguments only a few months ago, with no reason given.
"We don't understand why they would rely on the fibre-based network to try and persuade Government and taxpayers to allow increase in their prices, and then rely on a different reference point for the same thing before the Commission.
"We are looking into Chorus's proposals with a fine-toothed comb, and will have further comments in the next few days," says Mr Carter.
Separately, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told NBR he had no indication when talks between Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings over cutting UFB costs would wrap up. Late last year, the government billed the talks as wrapping up "early in the New Year."