Telecommunications Numbering Issues

  • Maurice Williamson

'The Ministry of Commerce has advised me that further work is required to conclude an arrangement between New Zealand's major telecommunications operators on numbering issues, the Minister of Communications,' Hon Maurice Williamson said today.

'Substantial progress has been made in the negotiations. Specifically, the parties have agreed on all substantive points relating to the allocation and management of numbers independent of any individual operator.

'It is intended that this will be achieved by an industry developed and managed solution.

'However, final agreement has not yet been reached on longer term number portability issues.

'Portability of telephone numbers is currently provided in New Zealand by call-forwarding. New Zealand's longer term inter-network number portability needs have yet to be identified and agreed. Telecommunications operators are working to agree on a suitable process which will be capable of satisfactorily resolving the matter.

'The Ministry of Commerce has advised me that the parties have agreed to continue to negotiate in good faith over the next week or so on what are quite complicated issues.

'My overriding interest is in the best result for New Zealand, rather than meeting a particular deadline. Sufficient progress has been made to date to give me confidence that further negotiations are worthwhile.

'Accordingly, I am prepared to allow the negotiations to continue until resolution is achieved or the Ministry advises me that no further progress is possible,' Mr Williamson said.