Under the Telecommunications Act, some services that telecommunications firms provide to each other are regulated to help promote competition in the market for the benefit of consumers. The Commission is responsible for determining the terms of supply for these services.
The Commission has published guidance on our interpretation of the equivalence and non-discrimination obligations on telecommunications network operators. We have also provided information sheets on these obligations and fibre services regulation.
We are responsible for setting the wholesale prices Chorus can charge other telecommunications providers to access its copper network and cabinet software. We also determine the terms of supply for these services.
We regulate a number of mobile services, including number portability – ensuring consumers can keep their phone number when they switch providers – and the termination rates mobile providers charge each other.
STDs set out the terms on which wholesale telecommunications service providers must deliver their services to other telecommunications providers. These wholesale regulated services are used to provide retail services to New Zealand households and businesses. For example, we issue determinations on the terms Chorus must provide to retail telecommunications companies to access its broadband network, and the terms that govern how competing mobile phone providers allow for their consumers to communicate with each other.
Every 5 years we must investigate whether existing regulated services can be deregulated or changed. After completing an investigation we make our recommendations and if any changes to regulatory provisions are proposed, these have to be accepted by the relevant Government Minister before being implemented.
The Telecommunications Industry Forum can submit draft telecommunications access codes to the Commission for approval. These codes set out standard procedures and requirements or principles for the industry with regards to specified services.
As part of the recent amendments to the Telecommunications Act, the Commission can now create Retail Service Quality (RSQ) codes. These codes will aim to improve retail service quality for consumers, where the industry has not created its own code or minimum requirements.