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Regulated services extension promotes competition

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Communications

Communications Minister David Cunliffe has accepted the Commerce Commission's recommendations that the period of regulation of 10 telecommunications services be extended for a further two year period.

The commission examined the services earlier this year, and concluded in August that there were sufficient concerns about limited competition to warrant continued regulation under the Telecommunications Act 2001.

"I accept the commission's recommendations that the continuation of regulation for each of the 10 services in question is the best way to promote competition in telecommunications markets for the long-term benefit of end-users," Mr Cunliffe said.

The services include interconnection, retail resale, national roaming, number portability, and co-location on cellular mobile transmission sites. Continued regulation of these services means that the Commerce Commission retains the ability to determine all or some of the terms on which an access provider must supply the service to access seekers.

Continuation of regulation for the services for a further two-year period has already been given effect through the Telecommunications Amendment Act 2006. This was done as a safeguard measure, to prevent the inadvertent expiry of regulation of these services at the end of this year.

"In the end, the Commission and the government worked hard to complete the work within the original timeframe. However, the potential consequences for industry and consumers of inadvertent expiry justified a cautious approach. The Telecommunications Amendment Bill currently before the House will tidy this area up for the future," Mr Cunliffe said.

The services in question are:

* Retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network;

* Bundle of retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network ('bundle of services');

* Retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network as part of a bundle of retail services ('parts of bundles');

* Residential local access and calling service offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network;

* Interconnection with Telecom's fixed PSTN;

* Interconnection with fixed PSTN other than Telecom's;

* Co-location on cellular mobile transmission sites;

* National roaming;

* Local telephone number portability service; and

* Cellular telephone number portability service.


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