Carriers draft new rules

Telecommunications Carriers Forum begins 2012 with a new rulebook

The Telecommunications Carriers Forum will start the year with a new rulebook which includes governance of the CEO Forum that arose from the ashes of the Telecommunications Industry Group (TIG).

TCF CEO David Stone says that the organisation took over the functions of the TIG in order to provide a single voice for the telco industry.

“The changes that are occurring in our industry are profound and the more we can provide a unified voice, despite the increasing diversity of the interests of our members, the better able we are to positively influence the decisions that affect us,” he wrote to his members late last year.

“Given that we now have a new (ICT) Minister, a priority will be to establish an effective working relationship of the sort we enjoyed with her predecessor.”

According to the TCF constitution the CEO Forum is open to the chief executives of members and “experts, interested parties and other parties that have been approved by the chairperson of the CEO Forum.”

It specifically notes that the CEO Forum will “ensure its activities are in accordance with the Commerce Act and other relevant legislation.”

The primary function of the TCF is to create industry codes of practice in areas such as copyright, disconnection, emergency services and international mobile roaming.

The new TCF constitution sets out the criteria and fees for four levels of membership, with the top tier one members (Telecom, Chorus, Vodafone and TelstraClear) paying combined annual fees of $805,000. Tier one is open to companies with revenue in excess of $250 million and every member is allocated a seat on the board.

Tier two and three members, who elect board members to represent each tier, pay annual fees of $60,000 and $15,000 respectively.

A non-voting board representative is chosen to represent the interests of end-users, and that position is currently held by TUANZ CEO Paul Brislen.

A new class of membership, tier four, has been added. For a $1000 fee this entitles members to participate in working parties where industry codes are developed but there is no board representation. In addition, companies can sign up as general associates for an annual fee of $20,000.

The TCF will also take over management of New Zealand’s numbering plan, and a separate membership category has been formed to allow companies who don’t want to join the TCF to be part of the numbering management working party, which enables them to access local numbers. The fee to become a numbering associate is $10,000 a year.

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