New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has released a draft report indicating its intention to recommend that Spark’s resale copper voice services be deregulated. Previously, in 2016 the Commission completed an investigation into deregulating Spark’s three resale voice services. The Commission’s recommendation to the Minister of Communications was to not deregulate and to defer the decision for two years. At the time, it was concerned whether competitive alternatives to Spark’s resale services were available and that retailers’ ability to switch to these alternatives was constrained.
Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale commented: ‘As fibre and other next generation services have become available across New Zealand, consumers are making the switch away from legacy copper-based voice services. Other providers offer wholesale voice services that compete with these services meaning regulation is no longer necessary.’
Submissions on the draft report close on 17 May and the Commission expects to provide its final report and recommendation to the Minister in July 2019.