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Supports for Minister in declining Separation Plan

InternetNZ supports Minister in declining Separation Plan

Media Release

29 February 2008

InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) supports the Minister of Communication's decision to decline Telecom's Amended Separation plan. Today David Cunliffe instead set out further amendments he will require to the draft plan before he accepts it.

The Society raised a number of issues in its submission on 25 January, particularly seeking remedial action in respect to the Amended Determination, which allowed significant group incentives for the Telecom Wholesale Manager.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says it is very good to see Government has recognised the issues, and is committed to ensuring a robust operational separation plan that correctly incents the relevant divisions within Telecom. "Ideally the wholesale manager should have little or no group incentive and InternetNZ is pleased to see that a limit will be put in place."

Other issues InternetNZ addressed include lack of industry consultation on the Next Generation Network, interconnection, and disclosure of Telecom's fibre plans.

"Telecom is in trials of fibre services and is involved in fibre to new subdivisions. Its plans and commercial policies around future access services should be disclosed," says Davidson.

Another issue raised by InternetNZ was the inadequate “Chinese walls” around planning of new services and policy making, and insufficient checks on the involvement of the CEO in the day-to-day business of the independent divisions.

InternetNZ looks forward to seeing a final plan that can work and encourages Telecom to speed its process so that the March 31st date can be met for Operational Separation.

"We are on the cusp of a significant milestone in telecommunications in New Zealand," says Davidson.

“A lot is now riding on the spirit in which Telecom embraces Operational Separation, on Telecom ensuring equivalent access for Access Seekers at both network and wholesale level and incenting the staff of its divisions towards that end.

Solid progress has been made by the Minister and Telecom, and these final changes to the Separation Plan should lead to a workable platform, which will deliver a more competitive telecommunications market,” Davidson says.

ENDS

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