The New Zealand Government is looking at ways to future-proof this country’s communications regulation and support changing technology.
To start the discussion about this topic, Amy Adams, Communications Minister, launched the discussion paper titled ‘Regulating communications for the future’.
This paper continues the Government’s review of the Telecommunications Act 2001 and seeks views on a range of options for communications regulation post 2020.
Adams says, “Digital convergence, new technology and innovation are transforming the way we live, work and do business and communication networks have come a long way since the Telecommunications Act was passed in 2001.
“This review is a critical step in ensuring we have a regulatory regime which supports growth, investment and innovation in these sectors into the future."
She says, “Private sector investment in high quality communications infrastructure such as broadband and mobile networks is important to deliver better connectivity to Kiwis.
“The more certainty communications sector investors have about the regulatory environment, the better placed they are to deliver more technology choices for consumers."
Adams says the Government is leading the way in enabling digital opportunities with the roll out of Ultra-Fast Broadband, the Rural Broadband Initiative and the Mobile Black Spot Fund programmes.
“New Zealanders have embraced streaming video on demand which is just the start of what the next generation of broadband can deliver.
“By 2022, at least 80% of New Zealanders will have access to fibre and 90% will have 4G mobile coverage.
“For this reason it’s vital we have the right regulatory settings to support the future of communications in New Zealand beyond 2020,” she says.
The telecommunications review is one of the work streams the Government has underway as part of the convergence work programme.
“Like other countries around the world, New Zealand is grappling with issues of rapid transformation of its communications sectors.
“It’s important to ensure our regulatory system is well positioned to support this period of rapid change.
“I encourage industry, consumers and stakeholders to have their say in this discussion so we can develop a regime that can keep up with the pace of change in communications and meets the needs of both consumers and businesses for the long term,” Adams says.
The discussion document can be found at www.mbie.govt.nz/telcoreview.