The New Zealand government has invited submissions on the first phase of the policy review of the Telecommunications Act 2001.
The first phase of the review will examine whether the current regulatory framework is adequate for New Zealand’s migration from legacy copper infrastructure to fibre networks and discuss pricing components of the current regulatory framework.
The review will discuss the most effective way to promote competition for end-users, how the commercial interests of access providers and seekers can be promoted and how to effectively encourage investment for the long-term benefit of end-users.
It will also look at innovation in the telco market and deregulation in instances where there is sufficient competition.
Alternative approaches, tools and institutional arrangements will be considered.
Other phases of the review will examine the regulatory framework from 2020 when New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband network is completed, when 75 per cent of New Zealanders will be connected to the high-speed broadband network.
“We are being deliberately open-minded about what the regulatory settings might look like post-2020 and I would like to challenge stakeholders to think creatively and to get involved,” Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, said in the foreword of the discussion document for the review.
“As we consider alternative models I am particularly keen that we keep the needs of New Zealand consumers and innovators to the forefront of our thinking.”
The broadband initiative will provide New Zealanders with download speeds of 100Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps.
The industry has welcomed the review. Telecom New Zealand said telco providers need pricing certainty.
“Pricing certainty will allow us to get on with what’s most important – competing in the marketplace through innovation, product differentiation and quality service,” Simon Moutter, Telecom chief executive, said in a statement.
Chorus also welcomed the review.
“Chorus will be providing a comprehensive submission to further support the development of the right policy environment that will drive the growth and innovation that will be enabled by upgraded infrastructure, along with encouraging innovative retail services for New Zealanders,” Mark Ratcliffe, Chorus’ CEO, said in a statement.
The New Zealand government announced the legislation review in February this year in addition to a review of the Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO) and its structure and funding.
Submissions for the review are due by 13 September, 2013.