TelstraClear has increased its pressure on Telecom by applying for an interim injunction from the High Court over what it describes as Telecom's failure to "activate links between the two networks".
TelstraClear claims it first ordered 62 special point of local interconnect (SPOLI) links in August last year to provision 0800 and 0508 calls. It claims Telecom's alleged refusal to do so is "anti competitive under Section 36 of the Commerce Act".
Earlier this year TelstraClear accused Telecom of not providing it with enough lines to provision its call centre business appropriately. Telecom countered by claiming TelstraClear was trying to renegotiate the contract.
The court action does not involve the same lines, says TelstraClear public affairs manager Quentin Bright, but they are similar.
Telecommunications Users association (TUANZ) chief executive Ernie Newman describes the issue as "third world stuff".
"It's unacceptable for the major carriers not to interoperate at this kind of level. We're appalled that this has to go to court and hope there's a speedy resolution."
Newman says that while this kind of issue does fall under the auspices of the new Telecommunications Commissioner he can understand why TelstraClear has taken it to court.
"I get a sense that they've gone to court because they think it will be resolved more quickly there."
In a statement late yesterday, Telecom claimed it was more than willing to provide TelstraClear with its connections, just as soon as TelstraClear pays for "all the services currently received".
Chief operating officer Simon Moutter reiterated Telecom's belief that TelstraClear owes it millions of dollars in unpaid bills.
"TelstraClear owes Telecom a substantial amount of money, and continues to short pay us each month. That situation is simply not sustainable. Telecom cannot be expected to provide TelstraClear with more service when we would, in effect, be doing so for free," says Moutter in the written statement.
Moutter is confident Telecom would win any legal battle over such provision.