On Friday Chorus shareholders voted with their chequebooks when the Commerce Commission confirmed its December 1 deadline for final decision on the regulated price ISPs will pay to use the copper network.

Even though the December 1 date was first set some weeks ago, investors pushed the Chorus share price up 4.6 percent on the confirmation.

The Commerce Commission says by that date it will decide on the prices for unbundled bitstream access (UBA) and the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL).

In some respects the announcement is academic because the steam appears to have gone out of loop unbundling. The uncertainty Chorus and its shareholders complain about cuts both ways. Telcos aren’t keen to invest when they don’t know what they are letting themselves in for.

So why the share market excitement? Although the Commerce Commission originally set a December deadline in February, it didn’t know it could meet the timetable. That changed when the French consulting firm Tera Consultants doing the price modelling told the commission it could finish the job on time.

That such a minor matter could move the Chorus share price by almost five percent speaks volumes about the nervous state of investors.

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