Commission releases findings from fibre services study

The Commerce Commission has today published the findings from its study of telecommunications fibre services in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s fibre networks are being built by Chorus and three local fibre companies as part of the Government’s ultrafast fibre broadband initiative. The networks supply voice and broadband services to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

The study was launched in April this year to give the Commission a better understanding of providers’ networks, fibre services, network operations and business practices. The information gathered throughout this study will help it develop and give effect to the new regulatory framework for fibre networks.

“Through this study we wanted to build our understanding of fibre industry practices while the shape of future regulation was still being finalised. We looked into issues such as how fibre providers manage their networks in terms of their physical assets and information systems, and how they plan for the future,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.

“The findings from this study give us more insight into the fibre providers we will be regulating, which puts us in a good position to develop targeted regulation for them under the new framework.”

Having concluded this study, the Commission will now focus on implementing the new framework for regulating fibre services.

Further information about the study, including the summary report released today, can be found here.


Section 9A of the Telecommunications Act 2001 requires the Commission to monitor competition in telecommunications markets and the performance and development of telecommunications markets. Under the Act, we may conduct studies into any matters relating to the telecommunications industry or the long-term benefit of end-users of telecommunications services within New Zealand.

The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Act 2018 gained royal assent on 12 November 2018. The new provisions require us to develop and implement a new regulatory regime for the four fibre network providers. The new regime will apply from 2022.

Under this new regime, the Commission will set the maximum revenue that Chorus can earn from their customers and the minimum quality standards it must meet – this is referred to as price-quality regulation. Additionally, all four fibre network providers will be required to publicly disclose information on their performance, such as on their profitability, revenue, and capital expenditure. This is referred to as information disclosure regulation and is intended to shed a light on their performance for stakeholders and consumers.

The regime first requires the Commission to determine ‘input methodologies’. These will set out the rules, requirements and processes that apply when we set the price-quality and information disclosure regulation that will apply to the fibre network providers. For further information see our website.