Telco Commission's work under review

Chorus a 'shining example of Operational Separation'

A review of all regulated services handled by the telecommunications commission will be undertaken next year.

Telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson mentioned the five-yearly review at TUANZ After 5s presentation this week, in which he outlined the current workload for the 18 staff who work in his office.

He says a draft report on Mobile Termination Rates – the fees that mobile carriers pay each other to terminate traffic on their networks – is due in December, with a final determination expected in March 2011. He described the process towards regulating MTRs as “a long and rocky road”.

Patterson also says the Commission may look into national mobile roaming, as the agreement between 2degrees and Vodafone is about to expire. This is the agreement which allows 2degrees customers to roam on the Vodafone cellphone network when they are outside the areas in which 2degrees has its own network infrastructure (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown).

The telecommunications commission has oversight of the Operational Separation of Telecom and at the After 5s, Patterson praised the incumbent for its handling of the undertakings.

“Ther are a vast number of milestones, and they’ve met almost every one of them. The only time there’s any publicity is when they miss one. In addition to that they’ve been rolling out their cabinetisation programme, which is also part of the undertakings, which require them to produce a cabinet every 28 minutes for the next two years and they’re ahead of the schedule, so its been an extraordinary journey.”

Patterson described Chorus as “a shining example of what’s good about operational separation”. He says the real issue of tension is Telecom Wholesale, which the Commission has already found against over its ‘loyalty discounts’ and which it is currently investigating over UBA pricing.

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