Minister calls for TSO review

2 Jun 2008

New Zealand’s communications minister David Cunliffe has called for a fundamental review of the country’s Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO), which subsidises the provision of phone services in unprofitable rural areas. ‘Industry feedback has made clear that the existing arrangements for the local service TSO are seen as clumsy, time-consuming and an expensive tax on entrants,’ Cunliffe said in a statement. Under the existing TSO legislation the country’s dominant wireline operator, Telecom New Zealand, is required to provide local services in outlying areas; Telecom itself pays 69% of the cost of the TSO, while the remainder is borne by alternative operators, primarily Vodafone New Zealand and TelstraClear.

New Zealand, Spark New Zealand Group