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TUANZ, InternetNZ seek extension to Telco Bill submissions

17 Feb 2011

Breaking: Vector prioritised for Auckland UFB negotiations.

A Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) with legislative changes needed to the UFB and RBI projects, as well as the changes that would apply if Telecom was to structurally separate was released yesterday.

A joint statement from TUANZ and InternetNZ said that the document was supposed to focus on providing the legislative framework for any future structural separation of Telecom.

“However the SOP goes much further and in effect re-writes the entire Telco Act as it stands today,” reads the joint release.

Submissions on the Telco Amendment Bill are due in to the select committee by the end of next week, but that’s nowhere near long enough to carry out any kind of serious review of the proposed legislation, says TUANZ and InternetNZ.

TUANZ Chief Executive Paul Brislen, said, “The SOP is, in effect, an entirely new framework for the industry and goes far beyond separating Telecom’s business in two. We want to understand what’s being proposed so we can make submissions that help deliver as good a model as possible.”

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar, added, “If the Government and the Select Committee genuinely want good quality feedback, they have to allow time for it to be developed. Two hundred pages of complex, detailed material have been released today. It will take more than ten days for us and for the industry to understand all the implications.”

An extension is now being asked for.

“We ask for the Select Committee to allow an extra fortnight for scrutiny of the government’s proposals, and we ask them to confirm a hopefully revised submission date as soon as they possibly can,” said Kumar.

Both parties will be contacting the select committee and the Minister to discuss the timing of submissions.