The New Zealand government has announced that it is going ahead with its plan to split national PTO Telecom New Zealand into three separate operational units to provide retail, wholesale and network services. Communications Minister David Cunliffe says the split is due to be carried out by end-March 2008 and will create a more level playing field in the telecoms market, with all operators having equal access rights to Telecom’s local infrastructure. The reorganisation, which was first announced in April, is expected to cost around NZD200 million (USD148 million) over four years and an independent oversight group is being created to monitor the process. Telecom has already begun setting up a wholesale division and is soon to begin the process of separating its network business. The firm says it will publish its proposals for the implementation of the split within the next four weeks. Both the government and Telecom have denied rumours that there are plans to sell off the access network once the split is complete.
Meanwhile, Telecom New Zealand has contracted Alcatel-Lucent to supply IP/MPLS switching and routing products to support the delivery of next generation residential services. The vendor will be supplying its 7750 service router. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.