New Zealand consults on regulatory changes

12 Jul 2016

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has opened a consultation into proposed changes to the country’s Telecommunications Act to introduce a ‘utility-style’ regulatory framework for fixed line communication services. The options paper also discusses the future of mobile regulation, as well as digital convergence and net neutrality issues, and improving the handling of consumer complaints by the telecommunications sector.

John Wesley-Smith, General Manager for Regulation at dominant fixed line provider Spark, has welcomed the review, saying: ‘We see this as another step towards the provision of certainty to the industry and, ultimately, ensuring that New Zealand telecommunications regulation is fit for purpose in the digital age and will support investment and innovation, as well as a healthy, competitive market for the benefit of consumers. We are especially pleased to see the importance of network quality regulation recognised in the paper, considering the high level of consumer and industry frustration we are seeing in the current model.’