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Commerce Commission considers less telecoms regulation

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 26 NZPA - The Commerce Commission is considering cutting back on the regulation of services Telecom provides to other telecommunications companies to be resold.

The commission today said its preliminary view was that wholesale broadband services, business data services and bundled resale services should no longer be subject to the Telecommunications Act, given their low take up and the availability of alternative services.

An exception was areas with limited alternatives to Telecom and a significant take up of specific resale services, such as residential and business lines and smart phone services.

Those services should remain subject to the Act to provide assurances that the service would continue to be provided by Telecom if commercial negotiations were to fail, the commission said.

For now, resale services -- such as residential lines and broadband services offered by Telecom to wholesale customers to resell at a discount to the retail price -- were subject to the Act.

That meant that wholesale customers who were unable to agree commercial terms with Telecom could ask the commission to determine the terms and conditions, including price, for the supply of those services by Telecom.

"The commission's view is that regulatory intervention in telecommunications markets should be scaled back in areas where we consider there is effective competition, or when alternative services are available to access seekers," Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson said.

"Regulation should not impose or maintain burdens which are unnecessary, and it is the commission's objective to reduce regulation of telecommunications markets as effective competition develops."

Submissions on the commission's draft report are due by September 23.

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