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Telecommunications Act: Unbundling the Local Loop

Telecommunications Act: Update on unbundling the Local Loop Network and the fixed Public Data Network

The Commerce Commission will commence investigations into the desirability of regulating the unbundling of Telecom New Zealand Limited’s local loop network and its fixed Public Data Network with the release of an issues paper next month.

Section 64 of Telecommunications Act 2001 requires the Commission to investigate whether or not each of the following services should be regulated: access to the unbundled elements of Telecom’s local loop network; and access to the unbundled elements of, and interconnection with, Telecom’s fixed Public Data Network.

Once the Commission has given public notice of the commencement of the investigations, it must make reasonable efforts to deliver a final report to the Minister of Communications within 120 working days, but in any event not later than 20 December 2003. The Commission will Gazette its decision to investigate on Thursday 10 April, and will release the issues paper on the same day.

Osmond Borthwick, Manager of the Network Access Team said the release of the issues paper would be useful to the industry given the complexity of the issues and the need to gather further information. The Commission will invite submissions on the paper, which will be considered in the preparation of its draft report.

Below is an indicative timetable for the review (please note this timetable is subject to change)

Steps and procedures Deadline

Publication of the issues papers 10 April 2003

Closing date for written submissions 14 May 2003

Publication of draft report end June/early July 2003

Closing date for written submissions on draft report end July/early August 2003

Public conference on draft report and written submissions mid August 2003

Delivery of final report to Minister 1 October 2003

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