Don’t subsidise fibre with copper

Stuff reports:

The price of could fall by about $12 a month in two years’ time if internet providers pass on swinging cuts to Chorus’ charges that were proposed yesterday by the .


But Scott Bartlett, the boss of New Zealand’s fourth largest internet provider, Orcon, is doubtful. He said Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale already seemed to be signalling “almost in code” that the commission would back down from the steep cuts when it finalised its decision on wholesale pricing in June.

Prime Minister John Key signalled that the Government was concerned about the effect cheaper copper-based broadband could have on the -optic ultrafast broadband network, in which the Government has agreed to invest $1.3 billion.

He did not rule out using legislation to overturn the proposed price cut yesterday.

I think that would be a bad thing. The Commerce Commission should be left alone to set the price of copper access based on existing competition law.  I’m a huge fan of the fibre rollout, but we shouldn’t try and get people to move to fibre by having copper priced artificially high.

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