Chorus today released its pricing draft for PONFAS, the unbundled fibre service due for release in 2020. The price points were confirmation of the strategy being pursued by Chorus, that being to offset demand for unbundled fibre through improved speeds and pricing for layer 2 services. The price is not horrific, but it is higher than the big three (Spark, Vodafone, Vocus) had publicly stated they wanted, and does make it hard to justify the cost of rolling out PONFAS to any great degree.
I won’t act upset by the price, I am happy to have the big three stay away form PONFAS as it risked creating an uneven ISP market, overturning the even playing field created by UFB’s launch in 2011. More detail on that here.
This won’t be the end of the pricing debate, the big three have loud voices and will continue to lobby as best they can until the final decision is arrived at later in the year. Further on than that, the Commerce Commission will again review whether the price should be regulated in 2023, which will roll around fast enough.