Yes, we own the numbers, says "helpful" Telecom statement

In a new 'clarification' which it says might be 'helpful ... for other parties', Telecom has reiterated its view that it owns the bulk of the country's telephone numbers. 'Our position is that carriers own the numbers developed in their own networks,' a Telecom spokesman said in a statement released yesterday. 'What we own is the Telecom New Zealand Numbering Plan which we bought from the Post Office in 1987.'

In a new "clarification" which it says might be "helpful ... for other parties", Telecom has reiterated its view that it owns the bulk of the country's telephone numbers.

"Our position is that carriers own the numbers developed in their own networks," Telecom General Manager Network Commercial, Bruce Simpson, said in a statement released yesterday. "What we own is the Telecom New Zealand Numbering Plan which we bought from the Post Office in 1987."

The contentious issue of ownership must be settled before the introduction of number portability, which is widely regared as essential for a competition in telecommunications. Simpson said Telecom had allocated some of its codes and numbers to other carriers "to facilitate a competitive market".

"For example, Telecom has '025' as the access code for its mobile services. BellSouth has '021' as its access code, behind which it has of course developed its own number allocation system for its customers," Simpson said. "We fully accept that other carriers own any numbers they develop on their own networks that are not sourced from Telecom, unless independent rights in those numbers exist.

"We believe this clarifies the numbering issue. We hope that the New Zealand Telecommunications Numbering Advisory Group (NZTNAG) will now move on and play a valuable role as the consultative forum on numbering - formed to discuss and seek consensus on switched telecommunications network numbering issues. After all, that's exactly what it was established to do," Simpson said.

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