The Commerce Commission does not want to discuss the impact of a suggested lengthening of time allotted for submissions and meeting on the Telecommunications Service Obligation, for fear of pre-empting the results of a gathering on the subject this afternoon.
Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb called the meeting in response to representations from Telecom and Vodafone, pleading that they would not be able to ready their submissions quickly enough for two important TSO meetings scheduled for later this month.
The commissioner presented Thursday’s hastily-called meeting with two alternatives: continue with the planned TSO conference (May 23, 24, 27, 28) and allow that further submissions may be generated subsequent to the conference, which may require scheduling a follow-up TSO meeting. Or delay the TSO conference until early July, allowing sufficient time for generation and consideration of submissions.
“Please note,” Webb adds, “that the commission is constrained in re-scheduling the TSO conference by other statutory processes underway during June and July.”
Commerce Commission representative Jackie Maitland says the commission would prefer to delay answering questions about how much the carriers were controlling the agenda -- and hence any potential competition benefits to consumers -- until after it was known whether the conference would be postponed or not.
Indications are that commissioner would make the decision whether to postpone either at, or shortly after, this afternoon's meeting.