Story image

NZ Government gets behind digital tech with new telco laws

14 Apr 2016

The New Zealand Government’s Telco Review has set a new direction for regulating broadband and phone services in this country.

Amy Adams, Communications Minister, announced a series of high-level policy decisions on the future regulation of the telecommunications sector.

She says, “Digital technologies are transforming the way New Zealanders live, work and do business. To help reach our 2025 broadband target and to keep our economy growing, we need the right laws in place to make sure high quality and affordable communication services are available for consumers and businesses."

“The communications sector is vastly different to the market in 2001 when the Telecommunications Act was introduced, and it’s time for our laws to catch up,” she says. 

From 2020, the Government will move to a framework for regulating copper and fibre services that is similar to the one used for utilities like electricity lines. This move will deliver the stability needed to support investment in high quality and affordable communications services for New Zealanders, Adams says.

Key decisions include:

  • Moving to a utility-style model (with ‘building blocks’ pricing) for regulating wholesale services on the copper and UFB networks
  • Considering ways to better support competition in the mobile market
  • Retaining the current ‘unbundling’ requirements to promote innovation on the UFB network from 2020
  • Ruling out any changes to the regulation of broadcasting infrastructure.

“The Government is making changes now to ensure there’s a sound system in place after 2019. Changes to the regulation of fixed-line networks will provide investors with certainty and ensure consumers are protected once the UFB build contracts expire,” says Adams.

Adams says the Government had ruled out making any changes to the regulation of broadcasting infrastructure.

“Consumers have access to an ever increasing selection of entertainment content online and through traditional television. Digital convergence means the broadcasting sector is facing more competition than ever at both the retail and network level, so doesn’t warrant any regulatory intervention at this stage,” says Adams.

“These high-level policy decisions build on the discussion document ‘Regulating Communications for the Future’ released last year as part of the Convergence work programme. In coming months, we will continue the conversation with an options paper on the detailed design and implementation of the new framework," she says.

NVIDIA announces Jetson Nano: A US$99 tiny, yet mighty AI computer 
“Jetson Nano makes AI more accessible to everyone, and is supported by the same underlying architecture and software that powers the world's supercomputers.”
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
NVIDIA introduces a new breed of high-performance workstations
“Data science is one of the fastest growing fields of computer science and impacts every industry."
Apple says its new iMacs are "pretty freaking powerful"
The company has chosen the tagline “Pretty. Freaking powerful” as the tagline – and it’s not too hard to see why.
NZ ISPs issue open letter to social media giants to discuss censorship
Content sharing platforms have a duty of care to proactively monitor for harmful content, act expeditiously to remove content which is flagged to them as illegal.
Partnership brings AI maths tutor to NZ schools
“AMY can understand why students make a mistake, and then teach them what they need straight away so they don't get stuck."
Polycom & Plantronics rebrand to Poly, a new UC powerhouse
The name change comes after last year’s Plantronics acquisition of Polycom, a deal that was worth US $2 billion.
Unencrypted Gearbest database leaves over 1.5mil shoppers’ records exposed
Depending on the countries and information requirements, the data could give hackers access to online government portals, banking apps, and health insurance records.