Vodafone and Telecom NZ patch up with regard to rural subsidy lawsuits
Vodafone and Telecom NZ happen to be the biggest telcos operating in New Zealand. The two companies have arrived at a resolution with regard to a long running dispute over the fees paid under the previous Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO) regime. Earlier, Vodafone had deemed the fees it had obliged to pay to Telecom NZ as required by the TSO – the body that provides subsidized telecoms services in rural areas – too high.
However, the terms agreed upon by the two telcos as part of the settlement have not been revealed; stands to close the dispute in the attendance of both the Supreme Court and the High Court by way of a full and final settlement of all claims between Telecom NZ and Vodafone with regard to TSO related issues.
According to Telecom group general counsel Tristan Gilbertson, this settlement draws a line under a long-running, protracted legal process. In addition, the TSO funding regime has been replaced with a new arrangement for the funding of rural telecommunications services, and Telecom and Vodafone have recently embarked on a joint programme to greatly enhance broadband delivery across rural New Zealand.
The Commerce Commission and Supreme Court have been apprised of the settlement between Telecom NZ and Vodafone.