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Wholesaling Recommendation Risks Forgetting Custom


Wholesaling Recommendation Risks Forgetting Customers

Telecom will be arguing that regulation should encourage competition and choice for customers when it presents its views on wholesaling to the Commerce Commission next month.

Telecom has released its submission to the Commerce Commission’s draft determination on wholesaling.

“As it stands, the draft decision includes the wholesaling of all sorts of services such as tolls and Xtra where there clearly is competition. It also could require wholesaling in areas where rivals have competing networks,” said Bruce Parkes, General Manager Government and Industry Relations.

“The Government said it wanted to encourage competition where there were bottlenecks. It’s hard to understand how that aim could mean wholesaling services like toll calls and Xtra where customers already have a choice of supplier.

“The risk for customers is that it would be easier for telcos to resell services off Telecom’s network rather than building their own. Customers would be the losers because they would have no real choice.

“Changing technology – and the Government’s own Probe process – is enabling and encouraging competing networks. This draft decision would go in the opposite direction.

“In Australia the ACCC only regulates one retail service for wholesaling – untimed local calls – and the ACCC has decided to remove regulation from this service in major cities where there is network competition. In New Zealand the Commission’s draft determination covers 212 services.

“We acknowledge that this is an early stage in the process and we are confident the Commission will look at all the information it has asked for and scale back the scope of regulation in its final decision.

“Telecom is already an active wholesaler operating commercial arrangements with TelstraClear and other providers.

“When we present our submission to the Commission’s conference in February, we’ll be focusing on the need to ensure that regulation encourages investment that will deliver the sort of competition that will really benefit customers,” Mr Parkes said.

A copy of Telecom’s submission to the Commission can be found at:

http://www.telecom.co.nz/content/0,3900,200653-1548,00.html

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