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Telecommunications Act Investigation

Issued 31 January 2005/089

Telecommunications Act: Commission to investigate second local and cellular telephone number portability application

The Commerce Commission has announced that it will investigate an application into local and cellular telephone number portability following a further application for a
determination from three telecommunications carriers under the Telecommunications Act 2001.

Telecom New Zealand Limited, TelstraClear Limited, and Vodafone New Zealand Limited have jointly applied for a determination of the functions and standards of an industry-wide number portability solution. Number portability is a facility that enables customers to keep their existing telephone number when changing their local or mobile access and calling supplier.

In December last year, the Commission issued a draft determination on an application requesting that the Commission determine the formula for how the cost of providing number portability services should be apportioned between industry participants. Submissions on that draft determination are due on 7 February.

"While the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum appears to have reached consensus on many issues related to number portability, the Commission has been asked to provide certainty on a range of issues, including the enforceability of the ultimate number portability systems" said Osmond Borthwick, Manager, Network Access Group.

A copy of the Commission's decision is available on the website, www.comcom.govt.nz http://www.comcom.govt.nz/ , select Telecommunications Regulation, Multi-network determinations.


Background
(i) On 24 December 2004, the Commission received a multiparty application from Telecom New Zealand Limited, TelstraClear Limited, and Vodafone New Zealand Limited under section 31(a) of the Telecommunications Act 2001 (the 'Act') for a determination of the functions that must be performed by a system in delivering the local and cellular number portability services, and the standard to which those functions must be performed.

(ii) The applicants have submitted two industry codes as prepared by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum that define the functions and standards of a number portability system, and have requested that these codes be used as a basis for the Commission's determination.

(iii) On 10 January 2005, the Commission requested comments from access seekers and access providers of the local and cellular telephone number portability services. Submissions were received from Telecom New Zealand Limited, TelstraClear Limited, Vodafone New Zealand Limited, and WorldxChange Limited on 24 and 25 January 2005.

(iv) Section 32 of the Act sets out when an application may not be made:

Despite section 31, no person may apply for a determination -

(a) of any matters that an approved code already provides for; or
(b) if the Commission has already made a determination in respect of designated multinetwork service and the determination has not expired; or
(c) if there is an agreement between the access seeker and all access providers for the supply of the service and the agreement provides for all of the matters set out in section 31.

(v) Section 35 states that:

Commission must decide whether to investigate
The Commission must make reasonable efforts to do the following things not later than 10 working days after the date by which the parties may comment on the application:
(a) decide whether or not to investigate the matter:
(b) give written notice of its decision to all the parties to the determination:
(c) give public notice of its decision.

ENDS

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