The Commerce Commission has asked the telecommunications industry how to fund the $12 million it estimates it will cost to fund new fibre regulations.

Last week the Commission said it would launch a new fibre study as Parliament considers moving to a utility regulatory model. 

If that happens, fibre networks will need a lot more scrutiny from the regulator. This will in turn mean more staff and higher costs. 

Proposed legislation would have the Commission establish new rules and develop information disclosure requirements for the fibre companies: Chorus, Enable Networks, UFF and Northpower. 

It also requires the Commission to set the maximum revenue that Chorus can charge its customers as well as determine the quality of service it must provide.

The Commerce Commission also wants to know if consumer groups should get funding so they can take more part in regulatory processes. This is the practice in the UK and Australia. 

For now the Commerce Commission is looking for ideas from the industry before it goes back to the government. One option is to ask the government to increase the industry levy. 

Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale says the extra work will cost the Commerce Commission $12 million a year over three years. He says funding consumer groups will add another million over the three years.