Paper proposes Telecom opens books on local loop

BellSouth might be but a memory in New Zealand, but its legacy arguably lives on in a new Ministry of Commerce discussion document that proposes a similar beefing up of the telecommunications disclosure regime to that BellSouth demanded in its 'Competition Quartet' document. Under proposals, Telecom would have to produce separate financial statements for the local loop and the rest of its telecommunications businesses - and disclose financial transfers between the two - twice a year.

Telecom would have to produce separate financial statements for the local loop and the rest of its telecommunications businesses - and disclose financial transfers between the two - twice a year under proposals canvassed in a groundbreaking discussion document.

The Ministry of Commerce's Telecommunications Information Disclosure Discussion Paper, released yesterday, suggests a range of changes to the disclosure regime instituted in 1990 and last reviewed in 1993. The Minister of Communications, Maurice Williamson, a significant step forward in maintaining the momentum of competition in the telecommunications sector.

The minister said the tight timetable for feedback on the document - 23 December - was a reflection of the government's keenness to "progress specific proposals for strengthening the information disclosure regime early next year."

The proposals in the discussion paper are similar to those demanded by the now-departed BellSouth in its "Competition Quartet" booklet, which seemed to fall on deaf ears early this year, but Williamson said the the "proposals for upgraded information disclosure by Telecom do not represent a departure from the current light-handed approach to regulation, but seek to strengthen the current regime."

A copy of the document is at:

http://www.moc.govt.nz/ran/cnpg/telecom/teleinfodisc/

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