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Telecomms: Commission releases draft TRS TSO

Media Release

Issued 20 March 2006/110

Telecommunications Act: Commerce Commission releases draft TRS TSO

The Commerce Commission has released its draft determination on the cost of running the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing impaired.

The TRS is a telecommunications service obligation (TSO) operated by Sprint International New Zealand. The draft determination covers the period 15 November 2004 to 30 June 2005. The Commission has determined that the cost for that period is $1.6 million.

The cost, when finalised, will be apportioned between Telecom New Zealand Limited, TelstraClear New Zealand Limited, WorldxChange Communications Limited, Vodafone New Zealand Limited, CallPlus Limited, Compass Communications Limited, Teamtalk Limited and ihug Limited in proportion to their net liable revenues.

Interested parties are invited to make submissions on the determination. The closing date for submissions is 19 April 2006.

A copy of the Commission’s draft determination is available on the website, www.comcom.govt.nz.

Background

Under Part 3A of the Telecommunications Act 2001 there is provision for Ministerial declarations of Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO). This is to facilitate the supply of certain telecommunications services that may not otherwise be supplied on a commercial basis, or at a price that is considered by the Minister of Communications to be affordable to the affected end-users.

There are currently two TSO obligations:
- TSO Deed for Local Residential Telephone Service between the Crown and Telecom; and
- TSO Deed for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for the hearing impaired between the Crown and Sprint.

The Commission administers the TSO deeds annually by:
- monitoring compliance of the service providers with their deed;
- determining the cost faced by the service providers, unless the amount is specified in the deed as is the case with the TRS for the hearing impaired;
- determining the liable persons; and
- the apportionment of this cost among the liable persons.

ENDS

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