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Telecom's internet grab breeches Kiwi share

Laila Harre


The Alliance has released parliamentary questions that admit Telecom's 0867 proposal to charge for local calls to the internet breach the Kiwishare, prompting Laila Harré to call for the 0867 proposal to be immediately dropped.

Under questioning Maurice Williamson Minister of Communications replied that :

"The Crown Law Office has advised that in their opinion Telecom's proposal to charge residential telephone customers for local calls to Internet Service providers would be likely to breach Telecom's Kiwi Share obligations, if it is implemented without the Kiwi Shareholder's consent.

Telecom is planning to make all internet users ring a number prefixed with 0867 or else they will incur a 2 cents a minute surcharge for internet use of more than 10 hours per month. This move would bypass interconnection agreements meaning Clear would lose millions of dollars and it would cost ISPs thousands in set up costs.

"The government must now move to stop Telecom's plans to monopolise all access to the internet by canceling their plans to charge for local calls," Laila Harré said.

"Unfortunately it seems Bill Birch, who is the Kiwishareholder, has other ideas. In a meeting with ICONZ (the Internet Society of NZ) today he has expressed the view that the Kiwishare does not apply to data calls.

"Who is investigating this issue, Bill Birch or Maurice Williamson? It seems that this government is continuing to pave the way for another backdown on regulating Telecom.

"Telecom has gotten away with far too much already, if this government does not stand by the Kiwishare when it is obviously being breached, the future of the Kiwishare is in jeopardy.

"Already independent ISPs have lost business to Telecom. It is about time this government moved to stop Telecom's continuing abuse of its monopoly position," Laila Harré said.


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