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Telecommunications Inquiry Cabinet Papers Released

Release Of Cabinet Papers On Ministerial Inquiry Into Telecommunications

Communications Minister Paul Swain today released Cabinet papers relatiing to the Ministerial Inqiury into Telecommunications.

The papers include the exchange of letters with Telecom over the Kiwi Share.

"In December last year the Government announced a range of measures in response to the Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications," Paul Swain said.

"Using the principle of 'as much market as possible and as much government as necessary' these measures are aimed at improving the regulatory regime for telecommunications.

"We aim to ensure delivery of cost-efficient, timely and innovative telecommunication services on an ongoing, fair and equitable basis to all New Zealanders.

"The measures include:
* The establishment of a new Telecommunications Commissioner operating from within the Commerce Commission;
* Regulation of key services including interconnection with Telecom's fixed telephone network and wholesaling of Telecom's fixed network services;
* An updated Kiwi Share, including bringing basic Internet access to virtually all New Zealanders by upgrading Telecom's network to provide 9.6kbps data capability to 99% and 14.4kbps to 95% of residential lines.

"I have decided to release the Cabinet papers relating to the Government's response to the Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications as well as the letters exchanged between Telecom and Government over the revised Kiwi Share arrangements about the same time.

"The Government is now focussing on bringing forward legislation to give effect to its decisions as soon as possible," Mr Swain said.

For copies of documents contact:
David King - Manager, Telecommunications and Postal Policy -Ministry of Economic Development - Ph 04 474 2931 or david.king@med.govt.nz

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