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Telecom Offers Continued Service To Clear

Telecom New Zealand has offered Clear Communications an assurance of continuity in network interconnection services beyond the expiry of their current 12 month contract, on 30 September 2001.

Telecom’s Group General Manager, Network, Simon Moutter, said Telecom had notified Clear of the terms on which toll bypass and other services would be provided from that date until agreement was reached on a comprehensive new contract.

Mr Moutter said for the time being, Clear could be assured of continued services from Telecom on fair and reasonable terms. In return, Telecom sought assurance from Clear that interconnection payments are made as they fall due.

“Clear has delayed coming to any agreement on a new contract with Telecom,” Mr Moutter said. “So far it has been a long, frustrating process but Telecom remains committed to negotiating with Clear and to reaching an agreement that is fair to both parties and to all other carriers with whom we interconnect.

“It is fundamental to Telecom that interconnection with all carriers be on fair and reasonable terms,” Mr Moutter said. “We’ve made various offers to Clear that are in line with interconnection arrangements now well established between Telecom and a range of other carriers, both large and small. So far, Clear hasn’t wanted to accept these.

“From time to time, Telecom has provided interconnection services to other carriers outside contract arrangements, but we are generally uncomfortable with such a situation,” he said.

“We have no legal obligation to provide services outside agreed terms but as a sign of Telecom’s good faith towards Clear, we are willing to provide an assurance on the continuity of services as an interim measure.

“The terms now offered are fair and comparable to prices paid by other carriers, including Telstra Saturn and Vodafone,” Mr Moutter said.

“It is important for Clear to acknowledge that the contract agreed on 12 months ago included elements representing one-off settlement on matters which were then outstanding with Telecom,” he said. “The pricing as part of that contract was never intended by either Clear or Telecom to extend indefinitely into the future,” Mr Moutter said.

He said that Telecom would insist on Clear meeting its payment obligations for continuity of service. “Clear’s tardiness in making interconnection payments over a prolonged period has been a real impediment to our relationship and Telecom is not prepared to let this problem continue,” Mr Moutter added.

“We’re prepared to continue negotiating and to ensure Clear has continuity of service beyond this Sunday, we have offered fair and reasonable terms,” Mr Moutter said. “We await Clear’s response and its assurance that it will pay for services provided by Telecom in line with normal commercial practice.”

Ends

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