‘Wholesale data price must be maintained’

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By DALE LUMA
WHOLESALE internet prices must be sustainable, says National Information and Communication Technology Authority (Nicta) chief executive officer Charles Punaha.
Punaha (pic) said this when responding to questions from The National about what wholesale prices would be and whether they could be further lowered.
“Wholesale prices need to be sustainable in terms of ensuring that investment in the infrastructure on which wholesale services depends on is facilitated,” Punaha said.
“Wholesale prices are an important contributor to retail prices and will likely have an impact on retail price levels.”
Punaha said that he could not give an estimated amount to what the wholesale prices would be as public consultation on the principle pricing was ongoing.
Nicta stated in a public notice last week that it had extended the deadline for submissions to the public consultation due to requests from stakeholders.
Punaha said stakeholders wanted an extension because of a number of reasons and Nicta had used its discretion to extend the deadline.
“Reasons vary considerably but a common one is that the respondent or stakeholder has to collect further information and that this will take longer than anticipated.
“Sometimes specialist staff who are needed to prepare a response are not able to do it in the time required.
“Some respondents have overseas headquarters and want an opportunity to have their local submission cleared,” he said.
Punaha said when the extended deadline passed Nicta would examine the submissions that had been received and consider whether there needed to be amendments to the pricing principles that had been published.
“Nicta will prepare a Response to Comments Report in which a summary of all comments made in submissions and sets out its response to each of them, including whether it will adopt suggestions for amendment in full or in part.
“Nicta’s role will be completed as soon as possible after the completion of the current process.
“Nicta’s role is to determine pricing principles in these cases, and the role of network service providers is to develop prices that comply with the approved principles.”
He said that anybody could make a submission, including any member of the general public.

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