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Commission reports on Sprint service compliance

Media Release

Issued 26 September 2006/041

Commission reports to Minister on Sprint’s compliance with Service Quality Measures for Relay Service

The Commerce Commission has reported to the Minister of Communications on Sprint International New Zealand Limited’s performance in complying with the TSO Deed for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for meeting the telephone communication needs of Deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired people. The Commission’s report is for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

Each year, Sprint is required to provide the Commission with information on its compliance with the Service Quality Measures in the TRS Deed TSO instrument. The Commission reviews Sprint’s compliance, and notifies Sprint and the Minister of Communications of any non-compliance.

The Commission has advised the Minister of Communications that it is satisfied that Sprint has met three out of the four Service Quality Measures.

Sprint did not meet the performance target for Service Quality Measure 1 – speed of answer for ordinary (non emergency) calls, which states that at least 85% of calls will be answered by the relay assistants within 15 seconds (quarterly figures).

By quarter, Sprint’s performance level for Service Quality Measure 1 was as follows:

Quarter Performance
3rd Quarter 2005 80%
4th Quarter 2005 81%
1st Quarter 2006 82%
2nd Quarter 2006 90%

Sprint did not meet the target in three out of four quarters. This failure was not sufficient to trigger a performance penalty. Under Schedule 2 of the TRS Deed TSO instrument a penalty only applies “if during any Financial Year there is more than one Quarter when less than 76.5% of non-emergency calls to the TRS system in the Quarter are answered by relay assistants within 15 seconds.”

Sprint advised the Commission that a systems upgrade and the addition of extra staff have now rectified the problems it was having in meeting this measure.

Telecommunications Act 2001 Background

The relevant TSO instrument is the TSO Deed for Telecommunications Relay Services dated July 9, 2004 between the Crown and Sprint International New Zealand, (‘the Deed’). Under the Deed, Sprint agreed with the Crown that Telecommunications Relay Services would meet the service quality measures in schedule 3 of the Deed.

A copy of the Deed is available at: http://www.med.govt.nz

Section 80 of the Telecommunications Act states:

Assessment of compliance with TSO instrument
Not later than 60 working days after the end of each financial year of a TSP under a TSO instrument, the Commission must –
a) Assess the TSP’s compliance with the TSO instrument during that financial year in accordance with any process set out in the TSO instrument; and
b) Notify the TSP and the Minister in writing of any non-compliance by the TSP with the TSO instrument.

ENDS

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