NZ Commission seeks feedback to retain regulation for telecom services

Commerce Commission New Zealand
Phone booth in downtown Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo by Tupungato | Bigstockphoto

The Commerce Commission, New Zealand’s competition, consumer and regulatory agency, is seeking feedback on its draft decisions to retain regulation for three telecommunication services: number portability, fixed PSTN interconnection, and mobile co-location.

“We are proposing to keep the regulatory backstop for these services to protect the best interests of competition and consumers,” said Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson.

The services under review are:

  • interconnection with a fixed public switched telephone network (PSTN) – enables consumers on different fixed networks to make calls to each other
  • number portability – enables consumers to keep their existing mobile or landline number when switching to a different service provider
  • mobile co-location – enables consumers to benefit from increased competition between operators through the sharing of mobile network transmission sites and related equipment.

“Our preliminary view is that these services continue to play an important role in the market and should remain regulated for now. However, we have the option to look at the situation again, should that be necessary before the next 5-year review,” said Mr Gilbertson.

Feedback on the draft decision is due by 24 March 2021 with a final decision due by 30 June 2021.

The draft decision is available on the Commission’s website.


Every five years, the Commission is required to consider whether there are reasonable grounds for commencing an investigation into whether any services should be omitted from the list of designated or specified services in Schedule 1 of the Act. The review is required under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 2001 (the Act).

Schedule 1 of the Act contains a list of regulated wholesale services. Each of the wholesale services that are the subject of this Schedule 3 review of Schedule 1 are used by retail service providers to supply retail telecommunications services to end-users.

As markets evolve at both the retail and wholesale level, wholesale service providers can face increased competition, to an extent that it may no longer be necessary to mandate access to a service through Schedule 1.

The Commission reviews each service by assessing whether competition may have developed to such an extent that continued regulation is no longer needed to promote competition in telecommunications markets for the long-term benefit of end-users.

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