A New Zealand representative on the Internet Engineering Task Force says IETF members are astonished that Telecom has been allowed to carry out its 0867 plan.
In an email copied to two local mailing lists, Dr Nevil Brownlee of Auckland University has challenged communications minister Maurice Williamson asking how he will "correct this anomaly" if he keeps his job after November 27.
The IETF brings together about 2000 technical experts worldwide to work on the Internet core standards and software. In the email Dr Brownlee notes that among them are "people from most of the world's telecommunications companies.
"I have taken the opportunity to canvas opinion on Telecom New Zealand's 0867 service for Internet access from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Everyone has responded with open-mouthed astonishment to the idea that a single company could actually do this, and remark that 'it wouldn't be legal in any other country.
"The effect of this service is to force ISP's to use Telecom to provide PSTN connection services for them, or to use another provider with whom Telecom has an '0867 agreement.'
"I fail to understand why you, as Minister of Communications, are prepared to allow any one company to exercise such a high degree of control over public access to the Internet in New Zealand.
"Would you please let me know how you intend to correct this anomaly if you continue to be New Zealand's Minister of Telecommunications?"
In an interview to be published on @IDG later today, Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde also claims "no other country in the world would allow" 0867.
"If you look around the world, you'll find that Telecom's argument about the Internet has been used everywhere - Australia, America, the US - and after some thought and examination of the issues those governments have decided that it is rubbish. It is not a valid argument.
"I would have thought that New Zealand would have said, we're getting fooled by Telecom here. Let's wait for another year and monitor it."