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Draft Determinations released

Media Release
Issued 30 October 2007/no 50

Draft Determinations released


The Commerce Commission has released its 2006/07 draft determinations on the:

-cost of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing impaired; and the

-allocation of the cost of Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO) for local residential telephone service and for the TRS.

The TRS is a telecommunications service obligation operated by Sprint International New Zealand. The TRS draft determination covers the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006. The Commission has determined in the draft that the TRS cost for that period is $2.4 million.

The cost allocation determination identifies which parties will bear the costs identified in the TSO and the proportion of the cost they will bear, once the Commission finalises its calculation of the TSO costs.

When the cost of the TSO for local residential telephone service is finalised, the cost of both TSO instruments will be apportioned, as per the cost allocation determination, 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 two draft determinations. The closing date for submissions is 5pm, 26 November 2007.

Copies of the Commission’s draft determinations are available on the website, www.comcom.govt.nz under Industry Regulations/ Telecommunications/TelecommunicationsServiceObligations

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 TSO instruments costs once determined are apportioned among liable persons. Prior to the revision of the Telecommunications Act this cost apportionment was part of the TSO determinations. Now, under the revised act, the apportionment is provided in a separate cost allocation determination.

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.

The ‘liable persons’ are Telecom and the companies operating public switched telephone networks (PSTN) that are interconnected with Telecom’s PSTN.

ENDS


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