Rural Areas Hit By ComCom Copper Decision

The Commerce Commission’s latest decision on copper pricing will make it more expensive to provide faster broadband at a cheaper price, particularly for rural users.

TeamTalk Group Managing Director David Ware says the latest Commission decision will put pressure on group subsidiary Farmside to review pricing.

Early estimates suggest Farmside’s DSL customers could face a rise of more than $7 per month while customers with DSL and homeline services could cop more than $10 extra on their monthly bill because of the changes.

Farmside is a leading reseller of Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) services but copper connections often remain the most logical and practical solution for those in hard-to-reach places.

“The Commerce Commission is acting like the Grinch that stole Christmas. This is a kick in the guts for us and particularly our rural customers who don’t have fibre as a choice” says Mr Ware.

“At a time when the Government is dithering over how to deliver better broadband to our most remote communities the Commerce watchdog decides to ramp up copper prices and make it more expensive in favour of Government subsidised urban fibre.

“We will be reviewing the decision and advising our customers of any changes once the dust settles. Like others in the industry Farmside is not in a position to absorb the increases.”

Mr Ware says the TeamTalk Group, which includes Farmside broadband as well as fibre and wireless divisions, is frustrated by the continuing uncertainty in the policies that determine New Zealand’s telecommunications framework.

“We can’t plan for growth and investment when the sands are constantly shifting under our feet and that has a big impact on end users and other businesses that rely on reliable cost effective communications.

Copper-Pricing-NZX-release.pdf