New Zealand incumbent Telecom has opened up two of its local exchanges to rivals, the first time it has afforded access to its competitors since the deregulation of the country’s telecoms market. iHug and Orcon have been granted permission to co-locate equipment in Ponsonby and Glenfield in Auckland as part of an early trial of local loop unbundling (LLU). The pair will conduct trials ahead of the introduction of full-blown commercial LLU services over Telecom’s lines later this year. Telecom’s ‘landmark’ move comes after a government announcement in May in which it threatened to force the former monopoly to open up its networks to rivals, a move that led to 30% being wiped off its share price. Three more trials are planned for September.