NZ Commerce Commission Releases Final Determination For Unbundled Bitstream Access

LAWFUEL – NZ Legal Jobs & Newswire – The Commerce Commission has issued its final determination on the price and non-price terms on which Telecom must make the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service available to other telecommunications providers.

The UBA service is a wholesale service that allows telecommunications companies to supply a range of broadband services to retail customers.

“The UBA suite of services will allow telecommunications companies to supply a diverse range of new retail services over broadband, and will stimulate competition for retail customers,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson said today.

“Telecommunications companies will now be able to offer high-quality Voice over IP (VoIP) services, and consumers will no longer be required to purchase a standard telephone service to have access to a broadband connection,” Dr Patterson said.

“This heralds a fundamental change to the way that telecommunications services can and will be provided to consumers and, along with the Unbundled Copper Local Loop (UCLL) and Co-location services, will promote nationwide competition for the long-term benefit of consumers,” Dr Patterson said.

The Commission has set prices for a Basic UBA service, and three Enhanced UBA services with different settings for quality of service. The Enhanced UBA services allow telecommunications companies to provide good quality VoIP and other real-time services over broadband.

Telecommunications companies may now choose to supply UBA-based services without a traditional phone service (Naked DSL). Where Naked DSL is acquired, the telecommunication company must also meet the costs of Telecom’s local loop network. The Commission has adopted the same price for the local loop as in the draft determination for the UCLL service issued in July. This results in geographically de-averaged pricing for the naked UBA services, consistent with the approach in the earlier local loop determination. The pricing for UBA services is as follows:

Monthly charge without POTS

Monthly charge without POTS


Basic UBA service

40 kbps Enhanced UBA service

90 kbps Enhanced UBA service

180 kbps Enhanced UBA service

The Basic UBA service is due to delivered on 8 July 2008. The 40 kbps and 90 kbps Enhanced UBA services are due to be delivered on 23 September 2008, with the implementation of the 180 enhanced service to occur 90 days after the 40 and 90 kbps Enhanced UBA services have been delivered.

The Commission’s UBA determination and related documents can be found on its web site at under Industry Regulation/Telecommunications/Standard Terms Determinations/Unbundled bitstream access

Plain old telephone service, or POTS, is a term which describes the voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in most parts of the world.

Unbundled bitstream access. The unbundled bitstream access refers to the wholesale broadband service provided by Telecom from the end-user to the first data switch, or equivalent facility, other than a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM). It allows telecommunications companies to supply a range of broadband services to retail customers.

Standard Terms Determination process under amended Telecommunications Act. On 22 December 2006, the Telecommunications Act was amended to incorporate a process for the Commission to make a standard terms determination on which a designated access or specified service must be supplied by Telecom to all access seekers requesting the service. A standard terms determination includes non-price terms proposed by Telecom, usually in consultation with access seekers, and price terms for access to the service set by the Commission.

Amended Telecommunications Act. In December 2006 an amended Telecommunications Act was passed that provides for, amongst other things, the unbundling of the local loop, and the implementation of local loop unbundling by way of standard terms determinations. The determination process was initiated for these unbundled services in early 2007. A draft determination was released on 31 July 2007. Interested parties then had the opportunity to provide submissions on the draft determination. The Commission held a conference in September 2007 to seek additional information on particular aspects of the submissions.

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