Telecom’s increase in the price charged for residential lines is a timely reminder of the lack of competing telecommunications services across most of New Zealand, the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) says.
“Telecom is entitled under the Kiwi Share to increase its local line prices by the rate of inflation without justifying this in any way,” TUANZ Chief Executive Ernie Newman said.
“However, we have always believed this provision is a very curious concession to a company that enjoys a very high degree of market power, operating in an industry where prices are trending down rather than up. TUANZ looks forward to the review of the Kiwi Share that the government has promised to initiate this year so that the future of this provision can be opened for debate.
“Telecom’s advertisement provides a timely reminder of the large differential between the prices it charges for residential lines in Wellington and Christchurch where it faces substantial competition, and the rest of New Zealand where it does not. We look forward to an increase in competition as an outcome of the new Telecommunications Act so that consumers in the rest of New Zealand can increasingly see similar benefits.
“With regard to the increase in calls from mobile phones to directory assistance, we see this as a symptom of New Zealand’s excessive mobile phone charges. We would encourage consumers whenever they can to look for alternative ways to access directory information, including on line services.”