15 Jan 2009

Lower connection rates dangled by phone companies

1:06 pm on 15 January 2009

Phone companies are offering the prospect of lower connection rates in a bid to avoid regulation.

The Commerce Commission says it has received indications from Telecom and Vodafone, as a part of an investigation into whether rates should be regulated.

Mobile phone companies have offered to reduce the rates at which they exchange calls by more than 20%, as a part of their submissions against regulation being introduced.

The Telecommuncations Users Association says New Zealand's mobile phone charges are well above the OECD average.

Chief executive Ernie Newman says the Commerce Commission will have to decide whether the offers are acceptable or whether it should recommend regulation.

Submissions close on 5 February.