Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has directed Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings to start tweaking their Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout agreement so Chorus can still deliver the same breadth of network on time and within the NZ$1.35 billion "fiscal envelope" set by the Government.
National 's coalition supporters, the Maori Party, ACT and Peter Dunne , have all said they will oppose any legislative moves to over-rule the Commerce Commission 's price reductions for copper broadband. The parliamentary block has forced the Government to look at non-legislative moves to help Chorus overcome what it says is a financial block to its Ultra Fast Broadband rollout.
Amy Adams announced an independent review of Chorus ' finances on Thursday and warned the company it was expected to meet its UFB rollout obligations. Shareholders hoping for a more immediate and conciliatory intervention from the government slammed Chorus' shares another 8% down to a record low.
Chorus described the Commerce Commission's final copper broadband ruling on Tuesday as a "regulatory black hole" that could cause it to default on its debt and compromise its Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout. Yet the decision was less financially damaging than the Commission's draft decision in December last year, which Chorus described then more simply as "undermining UFB." So which one correctly informed shareholders? Or was it just a difference in tone?