New Zealand's dominant telco will voluntarily separate its wholesale and retail operations in a move seen as attempting to stave off further government intervention in the country's telecommunications industry. The move comes some eight weeks after the New Zealand government unveiled a significant package of reforms designed to promote competition and boost the uptake of broadband services.
New Zealand's dominant telco will
voluntarily separate its wholesale and retail operations in a
move seen as attempting to stave off further government
intervention in the country's telecommunications industry.
It also comes as the Australian government last week approved
Telstra's plans for mandatory separation of its own wholesale and
Announcing the plans in a statement sent to the Australian
Stock Exchange this afternoon, incoming Telecom chairman Wayne
Boyd said the move would centre on "transparent,
non-discriminatory arrangements" for regulated services to all
In recent years, incumbent telcos have come under criticism for
providing more favourable terms to their own retail arms than
external customers of their wholesale services.
Boyd said Telecom had looked at similar efforts
internationally, including examples from the UK's British Telecom
"The planned separation structurally reinforces the wholesale
charter which we've been working through with wholesale customers
for the past few months," he said.
"On that path we've also suggested industry user groups to
work on the specifications and implementation plans of the new
Boyd emphasised when the separation was complete, an
"independent wholesale unit" operating according to a number of
firm working principles would exist.
Key principles would include equivalent service delivery
processes and levels for all customers, transparent external
reporting of information and oversight by an independent
monitoring group which would include industry and stakeholder
In the statement, Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung said the changed
regulatory environment had stimulated her company to work on many
fronts to meet new government expectations.
"Today we are talking about wholesale but across Telecom there
is massive work going on to introduce our new business model,"
"We are working on smoothly converged services across fixed
and mobile, and a suite of Internet Protocol services that will
enable the delivery of more content, services and features such
as IP-based voice services."
Gattung said Telecom would update the market on its strategy
during its full year results on 4 August.