Carriers' Forum revenue reflects a busy year

Projects now funded through subscriptions rather than separately

The Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum has reported increased revenue in an extended 2009 financial year.

For the 12 months ended December 2007, the industry body recorded $345,000 in funding, but for the 15 month period ended 31 March 2009 that grew significantly to just over $1 million, according to the TCF’s annual report.

TCF chairman Richard Westlake says the increase is caused by three factors.

First, the TCF moved its balance date from December to March, to produce a one-off 15-month financial period; second, 2008 was the first full year when the organisation had a CEO, so salary costs required funding from members; and, finally, two major projects were funded separately in 2007, totalling cost $393,000, where only one $88,000 project was funded separately in 2009.

“In the past the TCF has sometimes funded major projects separately from the subs, for example, local loop unbundling and the establishment of the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution service,” Westlake says.

“We have largely moved away from this approach and instead charge a higher annual fee, aiming to operate within that during the year.

“However, the total cost to the Tier ones did not increase by as much as the headline number indicates, because they had previously been funding other TCF projects separately.”

Fromer TCF CEO Ralph Chivers says in his introduction to the report that the TCF faced a series of new, and sometimes unexpected, challenges during the year.

“Our contributions to the Commerce Commission’s standard terms determinations proceedings continued, with major input to the sub-loop unbundling and mobile co-location regulatory processes, plus some below-the-radar activity that completed implementation of local loop and bitstream unbundling,” Chivers says.

“We also began or finished work on a number of codes on subjects as diverse as mobile content, lawful interception, and emergency services calling.”

Chivers says the TCF also put its minds to several areas of industry policy, a first for the organisation.

It developed recommendations for the future of the TSO (Kiwi Share) obligations, the approach to governance of New Zealand’s numbering regime, and on the National Party’s broadband policy.

“We also began what has proved to be ground-breaking work on IP interconnection,” he writes.

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