TelstraClear is refusing to sign a wholesale agreement to provide retail services on Chorus’s Ultra Fast Broadband network because it says Chorus is trying to push some of the connection cost onto Retail Service Providers.
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The Finance and Expenditure committee has recommended that the controversial Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill be passed – with some changes.
A statement from TelstraClear today in reaction to yesterday's MTR ruling reads: "TelstraClear Chief Executive Allan Freeth announced today that its residential mobile to mobile call rate has been slashed immediately by more than a third to just 19 cents a minute for new and existing customers.
“I believe this will be the best rate in the market and underlies our commitment to consumers. We are providing the benefits of the new pricing issued by the Commerce Commission yesterday, even before we receive the benefit of lower costs ourselves, Dr Freeth said this morning.
“Because the plans we offer are simple and cost-effective for customers, we’re able to move quickly and make substantial price adjustments to benefit our customers. A similar thing happened last year when we doubled internet data caps, at no additional charge, on many of our residential plans.”
Dr Freeth says TelstraClear and its predecessors have been fighting against monopolistic rorts in the New Zealand telecommunications market for more than 20 years.
“I have framed on my wall a copy of the first phone bill that wasn’t a Telecom one. It’s a reminder of the long and fraught battle to bring down a monopoly and give New Zealanders choice and fair prices. Yesterday’s decision by the Commerce Commission shows that the war isn’t over. TelstraClear is committed to continue fighting.
“The decision on mobile termination rates reinforces the need to have the Commerce Commission involved in the Government’s planned ultra-fast broadband (UFB) roll-out. Perhaps now the Minister will see the light and agree, especially with this and Telecom’s $12 million fine for anti-competitive behaviour fresh in his mind."
Freeth re-iterates in the statement TelstraClear's advertising campaign expressing concerns about the UFB process.
TelstraClear has spent around $750,000 on its advertising campaign opposing the Telecommunications Amendment (TSO Broadband and Other Matters) Bill.
The telecommunications industry is on the cusp of massive change due to government intervention in the form of the Rural Broadband Initiative and Ultra Fast Broadband.