Telecom and TelstraClear make up over interconnection

TUANZ welcomes moves by Telecom and TelstraClear to settle differences

The Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) has welcomed moves by the country's two largest telcos, Telecom and TelstraClear, to settle their differences and reach a commercial agreement over interconnection costs.

Late last night Telecom and TelstraClear jointly announced they had reached an interim agreement on interconnection. This comes as the telecommunications commissioner was to announce whether or not he would make a determination on interconnection costs after being asked by both telcos to step in.

TelstraClear had gone so far as to launch proceedings in the high court over the matter, but that action has now been withdrawn.

Last month the two telcos sent out a flurry of press statements declaring the negotiations to be at an impasse and blaming each other for the situation.

Telecom claimed TelstraClear was simply "mucking around" and owed tens of millions of dollars in unpaid bills while TelstraClear claimed Telecom was acting in an anti-competitive manner by not enabling 62 special lines of interconnection for services like 0800 numbers.

TUANZ chief executive Ernie Newman says the association would like to see the telcos act in a more "flexible and seemly manner".

"Users will be hopeful ... that this spells the end of the interminable litigation over interconnection".

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