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New Spirit Of Openness In Telecommunications

27 August, 2002

Swain Welcomes New Spirit Of Openness In Telecommunications

Communications Minister Paul Swain said he welcomed the new spirit of openness in the New Zealand telecommunications sector fostered by the Telecommunications Act, passed last year.

Speaking at the 3rd annual Telecommunications Summit in Wellington this morning, Mr Swain said the government was proud of its achievements in passing last year’s Telecommunications Act, which ushered in a new telecommunications era in New Zealand.

“Unlike previous government’s last term’s Labour-led government decided that the hands-off approach was not working and that the local industry had become bogged down in costly disputes, which were impacting on investment decisions and preventing the consumer from getting a better deal.

“Already we have seen two disputes, over interconnection and wholesaling, referred to the Telecommunications Commissioner, who has been given the power to make binding decisions on certain issues when required,” said Mr Swain. “This is where the rubber will meet the road.

“The commissioner has held hearings on these and other issues, such as the costing of what used to be called the Kiwi Share, but is now known as a Telecommunications Service Obligation or TSO.

“The feedback I have is that the hearings have seen a wide range of information and views brought before the commissioner and that there has been an openness to the process that has been welcomed.”

Mr Swain also congratulated six telecommunications carriers - Citylink, Ihug, Telecom, TelstraClear, Vodafone and WorldxChange – who yesterday announced they had formed a Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum in accordance with the Telecommunications Act.

Ends

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