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Draft Determination on relay for hearing impaired

Media Release

Issued 19 December 2006/080

Draft Determination on cost of relay service for the hearing impaired

The Commerce Commission has released its draft determination on the cost of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing impaired.

The TRS is a telecommunications service obligation (TSO) operated by Sprint International New Zealand. The draft determination covers the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006. The Commission has determined that the cost for that period is $2.6 million.

The cost, when finalised, will be apportioned between Telecom New Zealand Limited, TelstraClear New Zealand Limited, WorldxChange Communications Limited, Vodafone New Zealand Limited, CallPlus Limited, Compass Communications Limited, Teamtalk Limited, Woosh Wireless Limited and ihug Limited in proportion to their net liable revenues.

Interested parties are invited to make submissions on the determination. The closing date for submissions is 26 January 2007.

A copy of the Commission’s draft determination is available on the website, www.comcom.govt.nz.

Background

Under Part 3 of the Telecommunications Act 2001, Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO) are entered into in order to facilitate the supply of certain telecommunications services that may not otherwise be supplied on a commercial basis, or at a price that is considered by the Minister of Communications to be affordable to the affected end-users.

There are currently two TSO instruments:

* TSO Deed for Local Residential Telephone Service between the Crown and Telecom; and

* TSO Deed for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for the hearing impaired between the Crown and Sprint.

The Commission administers the TSO deeds by:

* monitoring compliance of the service providers;

* determining the cost faced by the service providers, unless the amount is specified in the deed;

* determining the liable persons; and

* the apportionment of this cost among the liable persons.


ENDS

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