Telecom breaks broadband separation rules

Telecom has apparently breached its separation undertakings for the first time, the Commerce Commission says.

The breach appeared to be unintentional. It related to a failure by Telecom to consult and provide information to Telecommunications Minister David Cunliffe and the commission before the end of June about the method by which Telecom classified customer service addresses.

That information formed the basis of Telecom's commitment to migrate 80 per cent of the country's lines from the old network to an advanced broadband network.

Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson had written to Telecom advising the company of the prima facie breach, the commission said.

Dr Patterson said it was early days in the implementation of the undertakings, which set out specific milestones and commitments that must be met by Telecom.

He was discussing the matter with Telecom and the Independent Oversight Group (IOG) to ensure that the breach was remedied quickly and that Telecom took steps to ensure similar breaches did not happen again.

Dr Patterson said Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds was committed to meeting the requirements in the undertaking.

"I have indicated to both Dr Reynolds and the IOG that if the outcome of these discussions is satisfactory the commission does not intend to use the formal enforcement remedies under the Telecommunications Act," Dr Patterson said.

"However, the commission has reserved the right to reconsider this should the issue not be addressed to its satisfaction."

- NZPA

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