INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another Step Forward for Drop the Rate, Mate

Published: Wed 4 Aug 2010 05:16 PM
Another Step Forward for Drop the Rate, Mate!
Communications and IT Minister Steven Joyce's landmark decision to accept the Commerce Commission's recommendation to regulate mobile termination rates will benefit every New Zealander who uses a mobile phone says the Drop the Rate, Mate! campaign.
The decision is another step towards bringing New Zealand practice into line with the rest of the world.
Campaign spokesperson Suzanne Chetwin of Consumer NZ noted today is a victory for long suffering consumers but there is still work to be done. We anticipate that the Commission will address operator's anti-competitive ability to penalise customers who want to call customers on another network as they work through the standard terms setting process.
"Mr Joyce is to be congratulated. More competition means more investment and lower retail prices, so in time consumers will benefit from better value across the board, Ms Chetwin said.
"We are thrilled he has listened to the thousands of New Zealanders who have expressed their support for regulation and moved to ensure that cheaper prices can be enjoyed by all mobile phone users."
Drop the Rate, Mate! would continue to monitor the next stage of the campaign for lower mobile termination rates which will see mobile termination access services added to schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act by regulation. The Commerce Commission will then undertake a process to set prices and other terms which mobile carriers must offer. This process is likely to take a few months
Drop the Rate, Mate! was founded in August 2009 by Airnet NZ Ltd, Consumer NZ, Federated Farmers, the Federation of Maori Authorities, the New Zealand Union of Students Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand, 2degrees and the Unite union.
ENDS

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