New Zealand Communications Minister Simon Bridges has formally unveiled the final details of the Government’s reform package to improve the Telecommunications Act and modernise the communications sector. The final package will introduce a more predictable utility-style model for Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) fibre, deregulate copper lines where fibre is available, and improve the quality of service (QoS) for mobile customers by increasing regulatory oversight.
Bridges commented: ‘UFB is already available to more than one million homes and businesses in New Zealand, and over 85% of New Zealanders will be able to access the high speed network by 2024. As the copper network is essentially being replaced by UFB, it is appropriate that copper regulation be removed from 2020. It makes sense to focus on the services that most people will be using. However, to make sure people are protected, copper will continue to be regulated outside of UFB coverage areas. Safeguards will also be put in place to make sure that customers do not lose their copper landline unless there is an alternative service available at a comparable price and service level.’
The new regime is expected to be implemented from 2020.