After a decade of wrangling and threats of legal action, the country's two largest telcos have finally reached an agreement over interconnection pricing, although the key sticking point of price has yet to be determined.
Telecom and TelstraClear were to have put their cases to the telecommunications commissioner over the next two days but instead have announced they've reached a commercial agreement that roughly follows the commissioner's draft ruling.
In a joint statement, Telecom and TelstraClear declared themselves happy with the outcome.
The agreement comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the two companies had reached agreement over number portability for toll free numbers, and that they had resolved long-running historical disputes over unpaid bills.
The commissioner will include the agreement in his final ruling on interconnection, which should set the benchmark for Telecom's relationship with other telcos as well. The agreement reinforces the notion that internet calls and voice calls be treated separately for both billing and management and that all local calls be billed on a "bill and keep" arrangement, which should see an end to all interconnection fees.
The commissioner had included a suggested price range for local calls of between 1.21 and 1.42 cents per minute, roughly half of Telecom's current charge but still a great deal more than many other interconnection charging regimes in the developed world.