Making it easier for consumers to understand their broadband options
The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (the TCF) has released two new Codes for the telecommunications industry that are specifically designed to make understanding and choosing broadband service offerings from telcos much easier for consumers.
The Commerce Commission issued guidelines to providers of broadband services requesting improvements in the way they market broadband services, in particular when consumers are transitioning off copper-based services. The TCF accepted the Commerce Commission’s request to develop these guidelines into industry codes.
The TCF Copper and PSTN Transition Code and the TCF Broadband Marketing Code aim to improve the way telcos transition customers away from legacy copper services and market alternative broadband technologies, says Telecommunications Forum CEO, Paul Brislen.
“These Codes will help the industry to market more accurately when describing broadband services so that consumers can make informed choices as to what service is on offer and best suits their needs”, says Brislen.
“As an industry, we’ve put in a huge amount of work to create a model for consumers that presents technical information in a clear and accurate way.”
The Copper and PSTN Transition Code covers the phasing out of copper lines in New Zealand and complements the Commerce Commission’s Copper Withdrawal Code that governs how Chorus can withdraw copper in certain areas. The Code requires providers to set out clear information on the different options available to consumers so that they are able to make informed decisions about what alternative telecommunications services best suits their needs ahead of the transition away from their copper service.
“This is a once-in-a-generation transition and for it to be a success consumers need to know exactly what is happening to their service and why. The new Broadband Marketing Code means customers will be fully informed of the changes to their service, the timeframes involved and exactly what their options are as we move into this exciting new era.”
The Broadband Marketing Code is designed to increase the ability of consumers to make informed decisions about what service best suits their need. The objective of this Code is to ensure Consumers are given clear, accurate and up-to-date information by their broadband provider about the technical and performance characteristics of broadband services available to them.
“If all parties market broadband services more accurately and consistently, consumers will have a much better opportunity to understand the service they’re signing up for. The publication of these two Codes also demonstrates how the telco industry and the Commerce Commission can work together to improve the outcomes of telecommunications consumers”.
The TCF will be inviting all Telecommunication providers to sign up to the Codes and make the necessary changes to meet the Codes’ requirements within the next three months.
The TCF will monitor the provisions set out in both codes and the implementation of these by providers.
The two new Codes are available on the TCF website:
Notes to editors:
The new TCF Codes sit alongside the existing Commerce Commission’s Copper Withdrawal Code that lays out how and where Chorus can withdraw copper-line connections.
The Copper and PSTN Transition Code covers the marketing of services and how providers can engage with customers during the transition period with regard to why services are being discontinued and includes both copper switch off and PSTN shut down scenarios.
The Broadband Marketing Code is designed to increase the ability of consumers to make informed decisions about what service best suits their need and to increase consumer awareness about the various performance characteristics of each service.