Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Govt report on Chorus out next week

Amy Adams. Photo / APN
Amy Adams. Photo / APN

Communications Minister Amy Adams plans to publicly release a report on how internet price cuts will affect Chorus' ability to complete its leg of the ultra-fast broadband scheme early next week.

Chorus said last month that a Commerce Commission ruling to cut wholesale internet prices could lead to a $1 billion funding shortfall for its portion of the ultra-fast broadband scheme.

The Government, in mulling over how to respond to this, commissioned Ernst & Young Australia to investigate how the cuts would impact on Chorus' ability to deliver on its UFB contracts with the Crown.

Ernst & Young's full report was to go to Adams by 5pm today but her press spokesman this morning said the firm has advised it is likely to arrive tomorrow.

The spokesman said, at this stage, the Government would look at releasing the report publicly next week, possibly on Monday.

Last week Adams said she had a verbal briefing from Ernst & Young, which indicated even if Chorus had made changes within its business, the Crown would need to act to keep the UFB project out of danger.

Adams proposed that Chorus should meet Crown Fibre Holdings about whether changes could be made to the lines company's UFB contracts.

These discussions between Chorus and CFH - the entity managing the Government's $1.35 billion investment in the UFB scheme - have already begun.

Some options on the table include changing the timing of CFH payments to Chorus, chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said yesterday.

"It doesn't cost any more. It's just really when the money comes in," he said.

Ratcliffe said he would like to see the "basic principles" of negotiations between Chorus and CFH sorted out by Christmas.

- NZ Herald

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