The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill is currently before the Select Committee; due to report back on 29 March 2018. The purpose of this bill is to amend the Telecommunications Act 2001 to: establish a regulatory framework for fibre fixed line access services; remove unnecessary copper fixed line access service regulation; streamline regulatory processes; and provide more regulatory oversight of retail service quality.
As the industry constantly upgrades and improves our country’s communications infrastructure, it’s important that regulations are also updated inline with the services available, so for this reason the Bill is a timely piece of legislation.
The Bill proposes that the industry is required to improve customer service, with the backstop of intervention by the Commerce Commission if industry action fails to achieve improvements. The TCF welcomes this role, as much of the TCF’s work is directed towards improving outcomes for end-users.
The TCF has a track record of delivering industry solutions for the benefit of end-users, particularly in conjunction with the Commerce Commission. Collaborative consultations such as the number portability systems, fibre access terms and copper terms have demonstrated the value of a joint approach delivering more effective and efficient solutions for consumers.
The TCF has been facilitating a range of initiatives to improve customer service across the industry. Recent consumer-focused work includes:
·Implementing improvements to the Telecommunication Dispute Resolution scheme, including a targeted marketing campaign, promotion of complaints processes on customer invoices, and proactive quarterly reporting of complaints data.
·Development of a customer-centric UFB installation Code, which will improve the way the industry works together to make UFB installations as painless as possible for the end-user.
·Development of a consumer education channel, including refreshing the TCF website with increased consumer information.
The TCF is committed to an industry-based programme of improving customer service outcomes for telecommunications customers, and is looking forward to the outcomes of the Bill, and engaging in a new sequence of consumer-focussed work with the Commerce Commission.
By Geoff Thorn, CEO NZ Telecommunications Forum