Regulator scolds Telecom over failed targets

28 Jun 2005

New Zealand’s telecoms commissioner Douglas Webb yesterday warned the country’s incumbent PTO Telecom that he is not happy with its attitude and went so far as to raise the spectre of possibly breaking up the company. Speaking to delegates at the Conferenz Telecommunications Conference, Webb said that Telecom was at risk of alienating its customers, its competitors and the government with its attitude towards wholesaling, which he described as ‘crippled’ and incapable of nurturing a ‘strong, diverse, competitive telecommunications market’. He went on to say that the incumbent’s attitude had ensured that there was ‘no chance whatsoever’ that the state’s broadband targets could be met and raised eyebrows by citing developments in the UK where BT has voluntarily agreed the ‘functional separation’ of its retail and wholesale divisions. Webb stopped short of calling for the break-up of Telecom, but the message that the operator needs to improve is clear.

New Zealand, Spark New Zealand Group