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Local loop unbundling review able to start

20 December, 2002 Media Statement

Local loop unbundling review able to start

The Telecommunications Commissioner is now able to start an investigation into whether local loop unbundling and access to Telecom’s data network should be regulated or not.

“The Telecommunications Act, passed a year ago today, allows the commissioner to start his investigation from today,” said Communications Minister Paul Swain. “Under the Act, the commissioner is required to report to government on the issue by 19 December 2003.”

Local loop unbundling would allow rival telecommunications companies to access the ‘last-mile’ of Telecom’s copper-wire network between the exchange and homes and businesses. This would give them the ability to offer their own broadband services and also to offer their own telephone access and local call services instead of re-selling Telecom’s service.

“Most OECD countries have now implemented local loop unbundling, so it is important for New Zealand to decide whether it should too.

“The government decided not to make a decision about local loop unbundling at the time of the Telecommunications Act because it wanted the commissioner to be able to focus on clearing the backlog of disputes left unresolved by the previous hands-off regulatory regime.

“This was the right decision to make and I am now looking forward to considering the commissioner's views on local loop unbundling next year,” said Mr Swain.

ENDS

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