Telcos will pay a maximum of $46 a month for a wholesale 100/20 fibre connection from next July. The new regulated price cap for a UFB anchor service was confirmed this week as the government tabled a supplementary order paper for the Telecommunications Amendment Bill.

The revised legislation aims to set the regulatory framework for fixed line telecommunications in the fibre era. It was first introduced a year ago by the, then, National government and is expected to have its third reading in the coming weeks. 

Among other things it will move regulations to a utility model and remove unnecessary rules that are a hang-over from the copper era. It also aims to increase oversight of retail service quality. The act also expands the Commerce Commission's monitoring of compliance for ensuring emergency services are available even in the event of a power failure, which would knock out fibre services. The commission will be allowed to conduct inquiries into any matter relating to the industry or for the long-term benefit of consumers.

Telecommunications Minister Kris Faafoi says the new regulation: “ … represents a fairer deal for everyone: a good price for New Zealand broadband consumers and a reasonable price for Chorus”.

Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie said the release of the SOP provides some clarification. She says: “We welcome this step towards a new regulatory framework for New Zealand’s key communications infrastructure. We look forward to the passage of the bill and to starting work on implementation,” she said.