Telco settles interconnect agreement with Telecom

One of the key 'sticking issues' in coming to a local interconnection agreement for telecommunications company WorldxChange was the term of the agreement, says Telecom general manger network interconnect Bruce Simpson. WorldxChange signed a local interconnection agreement with Telecom this week, allowing the company to offer local call services.

One of the key "sticking issues" in coming to a local interconnection agreement for telecommunications company World-x-Change was the term of the agreement, says Telecom general manger network interconnect Bruce Simpson.

WorldxChange signed a local interconnection agreement with Telecom this week, allowing the company to offer local call services.

Simpson says Telecom, which is reviewing its interconnection framework and process, wanted a shorter term for the contract, while WorldxChange was pushing for a lengthier term. The parties finally agreed to two years.

The agreement enables WorldxChange, which first applied for an interconnect agreement in August last year, to provide local services to any household or business in New Zealand. A previous agreement between the parties was for tolls only.

California-based WorldxChange has operated as a cut-price toll company in New Zealand for 18 months and has already signed interconnection agreements with Clear, Telstra and Pacific Gateway Express and is finalising agreements with Global One and Bell-South.

Simpson says the review of its interconnection framework is continuing and is the result of increased activity in the market. The WorldxChange contract is the fifth local service interconnection agreement Telecom has put in place.

Simpson says that Telecom is likely to sign deals with several more companies in the next few months.

Meanwhile, WorldxChange, which claims more than 6000 customers, has leased capacity to Hamilton, Wellington and Christ-church to begin rolling out a distributed switched network that will ultimately take in eight centres.

The company has also upgraded its network and from next month will have an additional 16Mb of capacity available between New Zealand and the US, and an additional 6Mb available to Australia.

In July WorldxChange formed a partnership with Deka, which saw the retail chain selling cheap toll calls.

WorldxChange president and chief operating officer Chris Bantoft says the telco's primary markets are residential and small to medium-sized businesses wanting voice.

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