Personal tools
You are here: Home Media Media Release Archive Older ISOCNZ concerned for future of kiwi share

ISOCNZ concerned for future of kiwi share

ISOCNZ is deeply concerned about the future of Telecom's Kiwi Share obligation after a meeting between the Hon Sir William Birch, the Kiwi Shareholder, and representatives of the Internet Society of New Zealand yesterday.

The meeting with the Minister came in response to ISOCNZ's call for
the Minister to rule that residential data calls do form part of the
Kiwi Share agreement. "Although Sir William indicated that the
government 'has no intention of dismantling the KiwiShare agreement'
his clear position was that the free local calling guarantee distorted
the market," said Internet Society Chair Jim Higgins.
"We gained the impression that the government is sympathetic to
Telecom's position that accessing the Internet from a home telephone is
not covered by the free calling guarantee under Kiwi Share. ISOCNZ is
concerned that if this is accepted, the next argument will be that
Telecom does not have the resources to improve the infrastructure
without introducing a two tier network - a lower priority free network
and a higher priority pay per call network," said Higgins.
"The Minister was at some pains to assure us that the government had
no intention of abandoning the Kiwi Share agreement at the moment, and
that our meeting was one of many they were holding to seek input into
the demands for a clear ruling on the status of residential data calls
under Kiwi Share", said Executive Director Sue Leader.
"We asked the Minster for three things should he choose to rule
against data calls being part of Kiwi Share - a guarantee that the same
two tiered system will not be applied to the voice network, a guarantee
that the new 0867 access will remain free, and an assurance that
Telecom will not again use it's near monopoly position to make
unilateral decisions which have significant impact upon broad sectors
of the community," she said.
"Much of the ill-feeling caused by introduction of the 0867 numbers
could have been avoided had Telecom taken the time to consult with the
industry and other stakeholders. In some areas there could have been
constructive improvements suggested, allowing a co-operative approach
to the introduction of 0867 - a development which is not without some
positive aspects," she concluded.
The Internet Society's July 2 letter asking that the Minister make a
ruling that the Kiwi Share agreement included residential internet
calls was a result of an extensive research and consultation process
conducted by ISOCNZ with it's membership and industry stakeholders on
the 0867 and Internet access charging changes. The process led to a
meeting with Telecom on June 25 and the resulting written replies from
Telecom were taken back to the membership and a poll conducted.
"Over 80% of member's responses were that data calls form part of
the Kiwi Shareagreement, and that was the basis upon which we
approached the Minister for a ruling" Higgins said. "We provided the
Minister with the results of our research, including survey responses
which are indicative of widespread use of the residential telephone
system for data calls prior to the signing of the Kiwi Share agreement
in September of 1990. Clearly, no-one could have predicted the level of
participation on the Internet by home users, but our findings establish
that Telecom cannot justifiably claim that data calls from home
telephones were not part of 'ordinary telephone services'," he
© 1999 The Internet Society of New Zealand

Document Actions