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Telecommunications Regime Good For Consumer

Telecommunications Regime Good For Consumer, But Demanding On Industry

Vodafone said today that the Government’s new telecommunication regime will benefit consumers by enforcing a more competitive and fairer environment.

John Rohan, Managing Director of Vodafone New Zealand, said there is now much more pressure on all telecommunication companies to act fairly.

“We are now on notice that the Government is expecting a more competitive environment and better outcomes for consumers.

“The new rules will lead to even more innovation and service improvements for ordinary Kiwis.

“The government has fixed many of the old issues, but the balanced approach means competitive parts of the industry, such as mobile, can get on with business,” Mr Rohan said.

Vodafone said the Telecommunications Commissioner is a sensible structure that will help prevent the difficulties of the past decade from happening again. Some work is still required on detail, such as the proposed strong limits on rights to appeal Commission decisions.

Vodafone has reservations over the demands placed on the industry, to Telecom’s advantage, under the Government’s plans for an upgraded Kiwi Share.
“The industry should not be required to pay for the costs of the old Kiwi Share, which Telecom originally accepted as its own obligation, unless there are commensurate savings in interconnection prices paid to Telecom.

“If the industry is expected to subsidise an extension to the Kiwi Share, we must be guaranteed that this universal service is being provided as efficiently as possible.

“The best way of ensuring efficiency is to make the universal service contestable - so other providers can tender to deliver the service, and more, to defined geographic areas.

“A non-contestable extended service model probably helps Telecom, because it effectively locks many people further into Telecom’s old technology network.

“A universal service to guarantee high quality telecommunications access for New Zealanders is essential, but we are signalling now that this particular proposal needs considerably more work to make it practicable. We look forward to working with government to develop a universal service model worthy of the rest of the new telecommunications regime,” Mr Rohan said.

About Vodafone

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company with more than 65 million customers. The company has interests in 25 countries over five continents.

Vodafone New Zealand now has more than 638,000 customers on its fully digital network and provides coverage to 97 per cent of the population.

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