Reforming the Telecommunications Regulatory Framework

After several weeks of consultation, both domestically and with international experts, InternetNZ has published its submission to Hon David Cunliffe on Reforming the Telecommunications Regulatory Framework. There is also a pdf version available.

The issues raised in the submission are likely to form part of the debate on Campbell Live (TV3) at 7 pm tonight where John Campbell will be interviewing Telecom’s Theresa Gattung for half an hour. Campbell’s show is ironically sponsored by Telecom (which I have no problems with) but I am sure they will have a good debate on the issues.

There is a lot of stuff appearing about how the prices recently announced by Telecom are now quite good. But these comparisons rarely take into account all the important factors such as data limits and contention ratios.

Russell Brown has done a great job explaining the importance of contention ratios. Go read it – even if it hurts your brain.

And as I said a few days ago one offering by a major telco has a monthly data cap which would last 400 seconds at top speed.

The gap between us and most of the world is huge – not just in broadband. There is something wrong when it is cheaper for me to call a NZ phone number from a UK cellphone than it is from a NZ cellphone. Think about it.

In NZ we recently saw business broadband retail prices of $2,400 a month for a service with a wholesale value of around $27. In a proper free market one would not have this occur, and hence that’s why I support not just local loop unbundling but more importantly splitting Telecom into a wholesale and retail company so one has a level playing field amongst competitors which will deliver cheaper prices and better services to consumers than the current near-monopoly.

UPDATE: TV3 has video of the Campbell Live show online. I like the way they portrayed NZ broadband as a garden hose and used as a comparison for overseas countries a full-power fire hose 🙂

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