Media Releases

Final decision on liability allocation for telecommunications providers

9 December 2015

The Commerce Commission has released its final decision about how much 18 telecommunications providers will pay towards the $50 million Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL) for 2014/15.

The government uses the annual levy to pay for telecommunications infrastructure including the relay service for the deaf and hearing-impaired, broadband for rural areas, and improvements to the 111 emergency service.

The levy — about 1% of telecommunications services revenue — is paid by companies, or groups of companies, earning more than $10 million per year from operating a component of a public telecommunications network (fixed or wireless). Almost 90% of the contributions will be paid by Spark, Chorus and Vodafone.

The Commission has also released its 2014/15 final determination on the cost of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) operated by Sprint International New Zealand for the hearing and speech impaired. The Commission’s final calculation has determined that the cost for that period is $2.6 million and is unchanged from the draft decision. This sum is payable by the Crown out of the $50 million levy.

Read the 2014/15 levy final decision.

Read the 2014/15 TRS final cost decision.

Background

Telecommunications Development Levy

The Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL) was established by legislation in June 2011. The levy is set at $50 million a year until 2016.

The levy — about 1% of telecommunications services revenue — is paid by companies, or groups of companies, earning more than $10 million per year from operating a component of a public telecommunications network (fixed or wireless).

The TDL replaced the Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO) liability allocation process and streamlined the process for industry contributions to the TSO, broadband for rural areas, and other government-led improvements to New Zealand's telecommunications infrastructure.

The Commission is required to prepare an annual TDL liability allocation determination in accordance with subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

Telecommunications Relay Service

The Commission is required to produce a cost calculation determination for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) under Part 3 of the Telecommunications Act.

The TRS provider must supply an annual audited report on each financial year from which the Commission can assess the cost of its service and its compliance with its set quality measures related to its delivery of conventional relay services. These services include text-to-voice conversation, voice-to-text conversation, and speech-to-speech relay.