Extension granted on submissions to telco bill

Period extended by two weeks at request of lobby groups

TUANZ and InternetNZ have been successful in their bid for an extension to submissions on the supplementary order paper that would govern the process for structurally separating Telecom if it is a successful bidder in the Ultra Fast Broadband plan.

The Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was released for public consultation last week on February 16, with submissions originally due on Friday. TUANZ and InternetNZ wrote to the government requesting an extension, which the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee has granted today – extending the period a further two weeks to Friday March 11.

“In his explanatory note to the bill, the Minister noted an intention to release this Supplementary Order Paper once the UFB Initiative and RBI competitive tender processes were complete,” states a release from the select committee reads.

TUANZ CEO Paul Brislen welcomed news of the extension on his blog today. “Most SOPs in my experience are a couple of pages of brief notation explaining a specific point. This one completely re-writes the Telco Act and includes nuggets like a clause clearing the way for government to buy Telecom (or for Telecom to buy other UFB providers without facing mergers and acquisition questions); grandfathering of the current UBA pricing regime and support for Telecom and Vodafone being allowed to work together on the RBI contract.”

Supplementary submissions may also be provided after 11 March 2011 if an initial submission is lodged in time.

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Tags telecommunications (tsobroadband and other matters) amendment bill

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