The New Zealand government has reiterated plans to force Telecom New Zealand to split into three separate units to boost competition and hasten the availability of cheaper internet services. The idea to split the telco into three units – to house its networks, wholesales services and retail operations – was first announced last December. ‘The reforms are expected to deliver a more effective telecommunications sector with increased competition and efficient investment in infrastructure and services for the long-term benefit of end-users,’ Communications Minister David Cunliffe said in a statement. After consultation and responses by the telco and other industry participants, Cunliffe must set the final rules covering the structure and behaviour of the new companies. For its part, last June Telecom New Zealand proposed reorganising into separate retail and wholesale units, but that was not seen as going far enough to satisfy the government, which has ordered the company to open up its local networks to competitors.