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New Zealand: New Telecommunications price regulation bill tabled in Parliament

Telecommunications legislation is being tabled in parliament to bring the regulatory pricing regime for fibre and copper line infrastructure in line with their electricity and gas distribution counterparts.

Today’s bill paves the way for a regulated pricing regime for fibre from 2020 and deregulating wholesale copper line access where it competes with the newer technology.
“We need to ensure the regulatory settings continue to be fit-for-purpose and support the evolution of this fast-moving sector,” Communications Minister Simon Bridges said in a statement.

“The bill supports the shift to fibre as the technology of choice among an increasing number of consumers, by establishing a stable and predictable framework for regulating fibre and by removing copper regulation from 2020.

The bill also seeks to improve information available to consumers, imposing greater oversight of the development and maintenance of consumer codes and empowering the Commerce Commission to act if those guides are inadequate.

Industry lobbies largely welcomed the introduction of the legislation, although Telecommunications Users Association New Zealand chief executive Craig Young said it didn’t address “the inequality of resourcing for consumer voice research and advocacy that exists in New Zealand when compared to other jurisdictions such as Australia”.

Mr Bridges said the bill would have its first reading later this month.

Source: NZN

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