Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Econet calls for further Telecom resignations


Econet calls for further Telecom resignations to demonstrate genuine commitment to change

Econet Wireless New Zealand (Econet) has welcomed the early resignation of Telecom Chairman as good news for consumers and for competition in telecommunications. However, Econet believes further resignations amongst the board and senior executives, including the CEO, are essential if there is to be any confidence in the commitment promised by Telecom on Friday to change it business behaviour.

“Econet is delighted with the decision to unbundle the local loop, and encouraged by the Chairman’s resignation. But, we have we have read Telecom’s ‘new direction’ statement with a lot of caution given the company’s track record and the CEO’s recent speech condoning the confusion of customers to keep margins high. There is a long way to go before Telecom can be trusted in any commercial negotiation with competitors,” says Tex Edwards, Chief Project Director, Econet Wireless New Zealand.

Econet itself has been seeking to become a wholesale ‘cell site co-location’ customer of Telecom’s for several years. We have spent some $6 million preparing for negotiations with Telecom, only to be continually delayed and postponed through self regulatory confusion and delay.

“We have already been told by Telecom executives on countless occasions that ‘the attitude has changed’. Yet, they continue to play the same old games.

“It costs new entrants millions of dollars on engineering feasibility studies, analysis and legal advice just to participate in negotiations – only for the process to be forever stalled and clouded by Telecom. There is no better example than Econet’s attempts to secure cell site co-location,” says Edwards.

The Chairman’s legacy is not just the New Zealand consumers’ subsidy of massive AAPT losses or Telecom’s loss of 66% of the mobile market to GSM monopolist, Vodafone. It is also the legacy of environmental disaster due to the proliferation of cell sites in New Zealand.

“Telecom’s failure to allow, Bell South, Vodafone, Clear or Whoosh onto its cell sites – many of which were acquired via compulsory acquisition prior to the RMA - has left New Zealand littered with unnecessary cell tower eyesores.

“It is shameful that Telecom now expects new entrants to pay for the costs of cleaning up the environmental mess Telecom created in its attempts to foil competition. Econet is unwilling to commence large scale roll out of its network before an environmentally sensible co-location protocol is confirmed.

“Telecom’s entrenched mentality and determination to obstruct competition at all costs was clearly illustrated earlier this year by a Telecom board member’s description of new entrants’ infrastructure share aspirations as ‘parasitical’. New entrants are willing to pay commercial wholesale rates for normal infrastructure access in line with OECD precedent.

“The Government’s unbundling decision should surprise nobody. Indeed, it has only been through a clear strategy of delay and confusion that Telecom has foiled competition and regulatory intervention for so long,” says Edwards.

When Telecom was privatized in 1991 a risk warning was inserted in both the IPO documents and the notes to financial statements. Subsequently their have been annual warnings in Telecom’s SEC filings about regulatory change.

“Econet strongly encourages the major United States and Australian institutional shareholders including Brandes, Capital and Templeton, and AMP to call for further resignations in order to demonstrate Telecom’s genuine commitment to change,” concludes Edwards.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>

 

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:

Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>

ALSO:

Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>

ALSO:

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages