The review of the Telecommunications Act 2001 is gaining momentum with the Government releasing an options paper on the proposed new 'utility-style' model for regulating fixed line communications services after 2020.
The Communications Minister, Amy Adams says every aspect of life is being transformed by changes to technology, innovation and digital convergence.
"The regime governing our telecommunications industry is now 15 years old and our review is critical to building a system that supports growth, investment and innovation.
"We want to ensure high quality and affordable broadband services are available for New Zealanders. To achieve this, the Government is proposing to establish a durable and flexible framework that supports competition, innovation, and efficient investment for consumers," she says.
In April, the Government announced high-level decisions to set up a new utility-style regime for fixed line communications services provided on the Ultra-Fast Broadband network and Chorus' copper network after 2020. The options paper seeks more detailed feedback from industry and consumer groups on how this new regime will work in practice.
"The new regime is designed to increase long-term certainty in the telecommunications sector and reduce volatility. It also aims to support ongoing innovation and investment which will result in better services for consumers – meaning consistently improving speeds and quality at affordable prices," she says.
Ms Adams says New Zealanders are already benefiting from world-leading broadband connectivity and speeds thanks to the roll-out of Ultra-Fast Broadband and the Rural Broadband Initiative, and this is set to continue with our extensions to these programmes.
"These changes are designed to deliver a more stable and fit-for-purpose regulatory regime, which will deliver better broadband for New Zealanders. I encourage interested parties to provide feedback on the options presented in this paper," she says.
Submissions on the options paper closed on 19 August 2016. For more detail visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website.