Cheaper copper

The Herald reports:

In a draft determination, the Commerce Commission indicated it wants to reduce the geographically averaged unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) service to $19.75 a month from its current price of $24.46 over two years.

UCLL lets ’s competitors use the copper network between an exchange and an end-customer’s premise to offer their own voice and services. The current urban price only has to come down $19.81, and the biggest access gains would be in non-urban areas, which are sitting at $36.63. …

Wholesale prices for access to the copper lines were averaged as a result of legislation enabling Telecom to carve out its Chorus unit last year, something that rankled with rival telecommunications companies who claimed it would lift their costs. The de-averaged urban and non-urban prices are $15.82 and $29.19 respectively, the regulator said.

It is a pity the Government decided to require an averaged price, as it means urban users are subsidising rural users. Instead of urban users getting a wholesale price drop of $3.99 and rural of $7.44 the drops are $0.06 for urban and $16.88 for rural.

But still good to see overall wholesale prices heading in the right direction.

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