CallPlus challenges Govt review of telco law

Minister sees no reason to intervene if firm is judged able to deliver on UFB

CallPlus chief Mark Callander says the Government should stop the consultation process. Photo / Brett Phibbs
CallPlus chief Mark Callander says the Government should stop the consultation process. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Internet company CallPlus has launched court action to stop a Government review that proposes to override the Commerce Commission and directly set broadband prices.

The Government has fast-tracked a review of telecommunications law and released proposals to set broadband prices at a higher point than the regulator.

The prices concerned are what infrastructure company Chorus charges internet retailers such as Orcon or Vodafone for monthly broadband services and line access over its copper network.

CallPlus, the parent company of Slingshot, announced yesterday it had filed High Court proceedings seeking a declaratory judgment that the Government's review does not comply with the law.

CallPlus said a discussion document issued as part of the review - which tabled broadband price-setting options - failed to address factors which the law requires the Government to take into account.

"We have some concerns that the Government has not taken into account a number of factors that will have a material impact on the competitive market and most importantly our customers. The Government should stop the consultation process as it would be wrong to launch major new policy initiatives or legislation until this matter has been reviewed," Callplus chief executive Mark Callander said.

Communications Minister Amy Adams, who was named as a respondent, did not respond to queries on whether the Government would defend the action.

- NZ Herald

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