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Regulator rules on VDSL technology

16/04/2010



Telecom has approval to provide new wholesale broadband services using VDSL technology, which allows faster data transmission over copper wires, on a commercial basis.

VDSL, for Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, is capable of supporting high bandwidth applications such as high definition television as well as telephone services, such as Voice over IP, and general internet access, over a single connection.

In a decision on Friday, the Commerce Commission said it considered that ongoing monitoring of VDSL-based bitstream services, rather than regulation, was appropriate for now.

VDSL deployment was in its infancy in New Zealand, with Telecom yet to launch VDSL-based services, the commission said.

Other factors in its decision were that TelstraClear was already offering retail VDSL services in the market, and that Telecom had committed to providing wholesale VDSL-based bitstream service to access seekers on a non-discriminatory basis.

Telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson said the commission’s view was that Telecom should be allowed to offer, on a commercial basis, new wholesale broadband services that were not currently regulated.

That was provided Telecom offered the new VDSL services to other telecommunications companies on the same terms as to Telecom’s retail units and to the same equivalence standards as applied to the regulated services.

"VDSL is an emerging technology which is capable of delivering significant benefits to consumers such as increased speeds and facilitation of the development of innovative new services," Patterson said.

"It is important that incentives for investment in new DSL technologies such as this are preserved, so that consumers are able to receive the benefits associated with such innovations."

If Telecom Wholesale uses VDSL technology to deliver the regulated bitstream service used to provide broadband, then it must do so on the regulated terms and conditions, including price.

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