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ComCom revisits backhaul study as Telco Act goes before parliament

19 Jan 18

In February 2017, the Commerce Commission halted its study into the nation’s domestic telecommunication backhaul services. 

The report was put on hold while the Government focused on its review of the Telecommunications Act

With the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill now before a parliamentary select committee, the Commission can recommence its backhaul report. 

The term ‘backhaul’ refers to a link that carries voice traffic, mobile and internet back from local exchanges, and mobile and wireless sites to core networks of service providers – like Spark, Vocus, and Vodafone. 

The Commission initially started the backhaul study back in August 2016 under section 9A of the Telecommunications Act. 

The aim of the study is to better understand how domestic backhaul services have evolved, how demand for different backhaul services may develop in future, and consider whether any regulatory changes would better promote the long-term interests of consumers.

“We see backhaul as critical to ensuring New Zealanders can benefit from effective access to comprehensive broadband services, especially with the rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband,” comments telecommunications commissioner Stephen Gale. 

“The submissions we have already received have helped us to better understand the market.”

Gale adds, “We intend to gather further information on a range of matters raised in submissions. This information will help us decide where to focus the remainder of the study.”

The Commission will release an updated timeframe for the study once further information has been gathered from a number of unspecified parties.

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