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TelstraClear: Telecom fine highlights regulatory holiday danger

19 Apr 2011

This morning the High Court imposed a record $12 million fine on Telecom for price squeezing in the ‘data tails’ case. 

The fine has since been welcomed by TelstraClear CEO Dr Allan Freeth (pictured), who says it also highlights the danger of the proposed regulatory holiday until 2020 for the ultrafast broadband network.

"The court decision coming 10 years after the fact highlights the need for a referee on hand that industry and consumers can turn to,” said Freeth in a statement. 

"This is the type of behaviour one expects of a monopoly with market power, and is the type of behaviour TelstraClear and consumer groups are concerned will occur if the government does not modify the Bill now before Select Committee.”

Earlier this month 11 New Zealand telecommunications companies, as well as a selection of consumer advocate groups, joined forces to oppose the government’s proposed UFB bill.

"The Telecommunications Act was developed to fix these types of problems quickly or to stop them occurring in the first place. Why then is the government hell-bent on again crippling the Commerce Commission and allowing Telecom, or any other fibre company, to rip off every New Zealander all over again? It’s utter madness,” continued Freeth. 

"Unless the Telecommunications Amendment Bill undergoes substantial change, it’s highly likely we’ll see a repeat of this type of behaviour by Telecom, or any other fibre company, abusing their fibre monopoly. Do we really want another 10 years where we all pay far too much to line the pockets of a few?” concluded the statement.