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Telecommunications Act: draft report

Issued 16 April 2003-04/112

Telecommunications Act: draft report on residential wholesale released after successful negotiation by parties

The Commerce Commission's today released its draft determination relating to wholesale access to Telecom New Zealand's residential services by TelstraClear Limited. The parties have successfully negotiated key elements relating to access of certain residential wholesale services.

Under the Telecommunications Act, TelstraClear originally requested the Commission to determine the full range of price and non-price terms and conditions. On 31 March 2004, TelstraClear and Telecom jointly informed the Commission that agreement had been reached on all aspects of the original application except for the services to be covered and the wholesale discount rates for those services.

Today's draft deals with the issues that remain outstanding between the parties. The Commission invites submissions on its draft report by 30 April, and will hold a conference on the draft next month. The Commission expects to release the final determination in June.

Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb applauds the progress made by both parties.

"The Act has encouraged meaningful commercial negotiations between TelstraClear and Telecom.

"This is a win-win outcome for TelstraClear and Telecom, and also consumers, who will ultimately have greater choice of telecommunications services," said Mr Webb.

A copy of the Commission's draft determination is available at www.comcom.govt.nz , select Telecommunications Regulation.

Background
In November 2002, TelstraClear applied to the Commission for an access determination under the Telecommunications Act 2001 in regard to:
a) price-capped residential local access and calling service offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network;
b) retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network to residential users;
c) bundles of retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network to residential users; and
d) retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network to residential users as-part of a bundle of retail services.

The Commission announced in December 2002 it would investigate aspects of TelstraClear's application for a determination of the terms for the wholesaling of residential services offered by Telecom.

The Commission investigated the application so far as it concerned retail services offered by means of Telecom's fixed telecommunications network (FTN) to residential users, the price-capped residential local access and calling service offered by means of Telecom's FTN, and bundles of retail services offered by means of Telecom's FTN to residential users. The Commission declined to investigate retail services offered by means of Telecom's FTN to residential users as part of a bundle of retail services.

On 9 July 2003, Telecom and TelstraClear advised that they were continuing to commercially negotiate, and that TelstraClear would not require a determination until the conclusion of their further negotiations.

On 23 December, TelstraClear filed with the Commission an application to resume the Commission's consideration of its application. Concurrent with the Commission's investigation, the Parties continued to commercially negotiate.

ENDS

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