New Zealanders may have to wait longer for cheaper internet after Chorus yesterday initiated court action to challenge the Commerce Commission's ruling the network company must cut wholesale prices for copper-based broadband.

The High Court action, which is likely to drag on for some time, won't prevent Chorus from having to cut its prices from December next year. But Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams said the uncertainty around the outcome of the case meant retail internet companies almost certainly would not pass on savings to consumers.

Chorus yesterday said it was filing for a High Court appeal of the commission's ruling that would slash $10 a month from the wholesale price for copper-based internet.

Read the Herald's full coverage on this issue here.


Ms Adams last week said it was a near certainty the commission's ruling would be challenged in court.

"The likelihood of retailers passing on anything while it's in flux is almost zero I would suggest," she told the Herald.

However, industry sources said given that some internet companies had already said they would pass on most of the savings to customers, keen competition in the sector meant prices should fall across the industry.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key yesterday acknowledged his Government could have ruled out legislation to override the commission's price cut before his support parties said last week they would not support it.

He did not believe the news last week was a significant factor in Chorus' share price falling since then.