Wednesday, 17 April 2019 11:27

NZ telecoms regulator to recommend deregulation of Spark resale copper voice services Featured

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New Zealand’s competition regulator, the Commerce Commission, is set to recommend that the resale copper voice services of the country’s largest telco Spark be deregulated.

The Commission flagged its intention to recommend the deregulation in a draft report released on Wednesday, and expects to provide its final report and recommendation to the government in July this year.

“As fibre and other next generation services have become available across New Zealand, consumers are making the switch away from legacy copper-based voice services. Other providers offer wholesale voice services that compete with these services meaning regulation is no longer necessary,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.  

In 2016 the Commission completed an investigation into deregulating Spark’s three resale voice services and, at that time, made a recommendation to the minister of communications not to deregulate and to defer the decision for two years.

The Commisssion said at the time, it was concerned whether competitive alternatives to Spark's resale services were available and that retailers’ ability to switch to these alternatives was constrained.

“Over two years have passed since our 2016 investigation. We have revisited our recommendation using updated information and our draft view after our analysis is that we now consider regulation is no longer required to help promote competition,” Dr Gale said.

“We consider that competition has been established, is increasingly effective, and is no longer dependent on access to these services.”

Submissions on the Commission’s draft report close on 17 May.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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