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Operational Separation meeting a good start - InternetNZ

Media Release - February 1, 2007 - Industry and user organisations, internet service providers, Telecom New Zealand and other interested parties met in Palmerston North yesterday to begin discussion of operational separation of Telecom. Government agencies attended as observers.

The meeting was hosted by InternetNZ (The Internet Society of New Zealand) to share information and kick off industry discussion about the Government's determination process on operational separation, which is on atight timeline following the passing of the Telecommunications Amendment (No 2) Act last year. Presentations from InternetNZ, TUANZ (Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand), Telecom and ISPANZ (ISP Association of New Zealand), were followed by round table sessions which zeroed in on what parts of the network and which services should be in the planned network and wholesale divisions of Telecom and what the priorities are for implementation. InternetNZ executive director Keith Davidson says InternetNZ is particularly encouraged by the participation of Telecom. The company provided a view of restructuring work already underway within the firm, ahead of the implementation of operational separation. "It is clear that there has been a shift within Telecom to embrace operational separation and get on with planning the path forward. This is to be welcomed and encouraged by the industry." "Discussion can therefore focus on the key issues as to where particular network assets and services should reside both for existing and future services and on the makeup of the Independent Oversight Group." "It is important that key principles are established now that will deliver the results for consumers along with successful business outcomes for both ISPs and Telecom, learning from overseas experience. "The interests of Telecom and the industry need to be taken into account in developing the operational separation of Telecom. Those interests need to be part of the mix in developing a regulatory framework that can work for the benefit of all New Zealand Internet users. InternetNZ and TUANZ outlined the British Telecom approach, which is expected to provide the base for the New Zealand model. Telecom outlined the framework it is using for restructuring the organisation towards operational separation over time. ISPANZ gave the ISP view of where network assets andservices should reside. For further comment contact: Keith DavidsonExecutive Director, or 021 377 587

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