Commerce Commission outlines approach to telco levy

19 Oct 2012

The New Zealand regulator, the Commerce Commission, has released an additional discussion paper regarding how it plans to set the Telecommunications Development Levy that will be paid to the government by telecoms operators. The government will use the NZD50 million (USD41 million) a year levy to fund things like the relay service for the hearing impaired, the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) and upgrades to the ‘111’ emergency calling system. The paper outlines which company revenues are likely to attract the levy; revenue earned from services such as voice and content delivery will falls under the remit, but not revenue from the content itself. The aim is for a wide group of public telecoms network operators to contribute to the tax, while avoiding levying the same services at both the wholesale and retail level. Dr Stephen Gale, telecommunications commissioner, commented: ‘Levying just the public telecommunications network operators’ delivery revenues is complex because delivery is increasingly bundled with hardware, like handsets, and content. So we are keen to hear the views of interested parties before we finalise the levy mechanism’. Interested parties are invited to make submissions on the discussion paper by Friday 2 November.

New Zealand, Commerce Commission of New Zealand