The New Zealand Commerce Commission has released its final notification of the companies potentially liable for the NZD50 million (USD39.45 million) Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL) for the 2011/12 financial year. The levy will fund telecommunications service obligation (TSO) charges, rural networks and upgrades to emergency calling services. Under the terms of 2011’s Telecommunications Amendment Act the levy is to be paid by public network operators (fixed or wireless) earning more than NZD10 million per year, and as such, 29 companies that are likely to have to contribute have been identified by the regulator.
In an early discussion paper, the Commission raised the possibility that Sky TV – whose new ‘iSky’ service is offered using a broadband connection – could potentially be included in the TDL, with the likes of Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees all calling for so-called ‘over the top’ content providers such as Sky and Skype to pay their fair share. Dr John Hamill, the Commerce Commission’s general manager of regulation, clarified: ‘As the legislation states, only fixed or wireless public network operators qualify for the levy. The list of 29 companies therefore includes the new local fibre companies and Chorus, but excludes Sky and other content providers as they are not telecommunications network operators’.
As such, the potentially liable companies are listed as follows: Actrix Networks, Airnet NZ, Bay City Communications, CallPlus (inc Slingshot), Chorus, Compass Communications, Crown Fibre Holding (inc Whangarei Local Fibre Company, Northpower, UltraFast Fibre and Waikato Networks), Datacom Systems, Enable Networks, FX Networks, Gisborne.net, Inspire Net, Kordia (inc Orcon), Maxnet, Network Tasman, Optus Networks, Snap Internet, Teamtalk (inc Araneo and CityLink), Telecom New Zealand, TelstraClear, thepacific.net, Transpower New Zealand, Trustpower, 2degrees, Vector Communications, Verizon New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand, Woosh Wireless and WorldxChange Communications.