InternetNZ has begun analysing final decisions on the review of the Telecommunication Act announced by the Government today.
“Our initial take is that the changes Minister Bridges has announced are a mixed bag for consumers,” says InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter.
“There are some wins for the public here.
“The new proactive powers for the Commerce Commission, to ask tough questions about the quality of service people can expect, are good to see. There are too many complaints by consumers in the telco sector and it has to change.
“On the down side, tweaks and adjustments to the post-2020 framework will see more money go into Chorus’ hands from users of copper broadband services outside the fibre broadband area. That means slightly higher broadband prices.
“Another down-side: the government is still proposing that today’s entry-level broadband product (100/20) can serve as an ‘anchor product’ in 2020. It was too slow last time they proposed it, and it’s too slow today,” says Carter.
InternetNZ will analyse these final decisions in depth, and looks forward to the government releasing draft legislation later in the year.
“The select committee process will be a chance to improve on these decisions by tackling the anchor product challenge, and any other detailed issues that come to light.
“All in all, we are pleased to see this review of the Telco Act moving towards a conclusion. The big picture perspective is that this new framework should deliver fair prices for fibre broadband into the future – there are just some further gains we will keep pushing for as the process moves to Parliament and new legislation,” Carter says.
InternetNZ will continue to advocate for fair rules which deliver better outcomes for New Zealand. We look forward to discussions with officials to better understand the decisions announced today, leading into the select committee process later in the year.
Details of the Telecommunications Act Review can be found on the MBIE website.