itb-nz logo
Story image

2degrees days away from signing TCF code

03 May 2010

2degrees expects to join Telecom, Vodafone, TelstraClear, Kordia and Orcon in signing up to the Emergency Calling Code developed by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF).

ICT Minister Steven Joyce urged all telcos to become signatories, regardless of whether they are paid-up members of the TCF, following outages on the XT network and a fault at the Papatoetoe exchange which affected 111 calls.

2degrees spokesperson Bryony Hilless says the mobile telco is reviewing technical and legal details and expects to sign up in “days rather than weeks.”

The Code could be the first step in 2degrees rejoining TCF, after it quit last year claiming the organisation was “an unnecessary distraction” and that it is largely controlled by Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear. Hilless says that discussions with the TCF are underway and it is looking closely at the organisation’s proposed new governance arrangements.

Under the TCF’s existing rules the telcos that pay the largest fees get the biggest say. Telecom funds 40% of the organisation’s costs, TelstraClear and Vodafone each pay 25%, and the rest make up the balance. In recognition of this, the three tier one telcos each have a seat on the board and the other telcos are represented jointly by two seats on the board.

In the May edition of Telecommunications Review TCF CEO David Stone, who took over the role late last year after 2degrees had left, writes in his regular column that the TCF may change its funding and governance structure.

“Work is under way to consider options for how the TCF can be funded in a fairer manner and how representation and voting can be improved. Any changes will need to increase the level of representation of the Group Members and remove the need for consensus decision making. Once these and other changes are implemented, there will no longer be any structural basis to suggest that the TCF is merely a Big Boys Club,” Stone writes.

In the meantime 2degrees has until June 30 to decide if it will join the Telecommunications Resolution Dispute Scheme (TDRS). Although it comes under the auspices of the TCF, a number of its members have left, the most high profile being CallPlus.

Stone told an industry conference recently that ICT Minister Steven Joyce is threatening to regulate the complaints process if more telcos don’t sign up the TRDS.

Hilless says 2degrees is looking at whether its internal process for handling complaints will work with the TDRS before it makes a final decision on whether to join.

Photo: 2degrees chief commercial officer Bill McCabe