Stories by Sarah Putt

Schools get ready for fast fibre networks

The nation’s schools, along with its hospitals, are at the heart of the government’s plans to spend billions on fibre broadband networks in both the rural and urban areas.

Beyond green IT

If ICT is the enabler of more sustainable business practices, should it matter if sustainability and profitability don’t go hand in hand?

Opinion: Is it time for a Superuser group?

In its latest round of membership consultation, InternetNZ received feedback that it should take a more active part in network issues, such as the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative and mobile data roaming charges.

Who are the three successful UFB tenderers?

When Crown Fibre Holdings announced the first three companies to have got through to the next stage in negotiations for the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband plan it took everyone by suprise — not least the three successful bidders, who only heard half an hour before the official announcement.

Transforming the dumb pipe to a smart pipe

It has been shut out of building the three mobile networks in New Zealand – Vodafone, Telecom’s XT network and 2degrees – but Ericsson has not given up touting for mobile business in New Zealand.

Renaissance responds to Apple rumours

He has only been eleven days in the job, but Renaissance chief marketing officer Warwick Grey is fighting back on market speculation that Apple has picked Ingram Micro as a rival distributor.

Dial-up case vindicating Telecom to have huge impact - ICT lawyer

ICT lawyer Michael Wigley claims that the Supreme Court’s final judgment on the 0867 dial-up package will substantially impact New Zealand telecommunications for years to come.
In the decision, the Court said that the Commerce Commission failed to show Telecom abused its market dominance under Section 36 of the Commerce Act. This is because the Commission could not prove that Telecom would not have introduced the 0867 package if it didn’t have Significant Market Power (SMP).
Wigley is calling for a review of Section 36 in light of the decision.
“If there is to be change, amending legislation is required. The Courts can’t do it, as they are interpreting legislation. Until this happens, companies with SMP have a large measure of freedom to act in ways which many would regard as unsatisfactory and anti-competitive,” he says.
“European law doesn’t tolerate that approach. Under the legislation there, Telecom’s activity was likely to be in breach. On a telecommunications appeal last year to the highest European Union Court, the judges confirmed that a company with SMP has ‘a special responsibility not to allow its behaviour to impair genuine undistorted competition’. That’s because competition is already weakened by the company with SMP.
“What’s important is the precedent it (the Supreme Court’s judgement) sets for the future. Those with substantial market power (SMP) will be able to continue to exert their power much more freely. The case largely re-affirms that right. Often the Telco Act will not constrain this use of power. For example, price squeeze, issues around bundles, so-called “pocket pricing”, on- and off-net mobile pricing differentials, etc, don’t fit easily under the Telco Act. That’s where the Commerce Act should shine,” he says.
Wigley says that a robust Commerce Act is necessary, especially given that the government has ruled that the Ultra Fast Broadband network will have a 10-year regulatory reprieve – in other words the Telecommunications Act will not apply to the fledgling fibre network.
"That regulatory holiday takes away the Telecommunications Act for this critical market development. Granted, some contraints on vendor action will be contractually agreed but market problems seem inevitable with such a major monolopy player," he says.
Wigley’s reaction is at odds with telco analyst Paul Budde who called the Supreme Court's judgement an “historical curiosity”. TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman wrote in his blog post expressing “gratitude that such a debacle could never happen again”, and that we are “so fortunate that we now have a pro-active, precise regulatory regime, enshrined in the Telecommunications Act, administered capably and predictably by the Commerce Commission.”

Numbering problems with VoIP identified

The authority that controls New Zealand’s numbering plan is embarking on a fact finding mission to Europe, to determine how numbers should be allocated in the transition from traditional fixed-line PSTN voice services to VoIP.

Oracle's international gunslinger

Tom Kyte has a pretty cool job. He gets to fly around the world chatting about something he knows a lot about and which he finds infinitely fascinating. Kyte’s official job title is senior technical architect in the Oracle server technology division. But really he is a kind of Oracle gunslinger, able to shoot down problems that crop up in the wild frontiers of its database.

Huawei highlights claim to UFB network

Telco vendor Huawei is holding a three-day event in Auckland ahead of the government’s decision on who it will partner with in the $1.5 billion Ultra Fast Broadband network.