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Unbundling reviews: Commission updates timetable

Media Release

Issued 23 July 2003-04 / 009

Telecommunications Act – Unbundling reviews:
Commission updates timetable

The Commerce Commission today published an update to the timetable for the reviews into unbundling of Telecom New Zealand’s local loop network and its fixed Public Data Network.

The Telecommunications Act 2001 requires the Commission to make reasonable efforts to deliver a final report to the Minister within 120 working days after giving public notice of the commencement of the investigation. The investigation commenced on 10 April 2003 with the publication of an Issues Paper. The 120 working day period elapses on 1 October 2003. The Act also states that the Commission must deliver a final report to the Minister within 24 months of the Commencement of the Act, which is by 20 December 2003.

The Commission has advised the Minister that further planning has indicated that it will not be possible to meet the 120 working day deadline. The revised timetable is based on delivery of the final report to the Minister by 20 December 2003. The Commission intends to publish the draft report on unbundling on 18 September 2003. The Act stipulates the closing date for written submissions on the draft report must not be later than 20 working days after giving notice of its publication, which will be by 16 October 2003.

Steps Deadline
Publication of Commerce Commission’s draft report 18 September 2003
Closing date for written submissions on draft report 16 October 2003
Public conference on draft report and written submissions 28 – 31 October 2003
Submission of final report to the Minister By 20 December 2003

Background
Section 64 of the Telecommunications Act 2001 requires the Commerce Commission to conduct a review of the desirability of regulating access to the unbundled elements of Telecom New Zealand’s local loop network and access to the unbundled elements of, and interconnection with, Telecom New Zealand’s fixed Public Data Network (PDN). Unbundling of telecommunications networks is a means of allowing competitors to use parts of the network on a wholesale basis in order to build up a competitive offering of retail services.

The Commission commenced the investigations with the release of an Issues Paper and accompanying appendices entitled “Telecommunications Act 2001: Section 64 Reviews into unbundling the Local Loop Network and the fixed Public Data Network” on 10 April 2003.

The Commission last published a timetable on the unbundling reviews on 5 May 2003 giving the expected date of delivery of the final report to the Minister of 1 October 2003. In accordance with the Act, the Commission has subsequently written to the Minister giving written reasons as to why it no longer considers that it will be possible to meet the 120 working day deadline of 1 October 2003.

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz

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