19 Feb 2011

TelstraClear seeks more time to comment on Bill

10:56 pm on 19 February 2011

TelstraClear is criticising the Government for not giving people time to have a say on proposals for what it calls seismic changes to the telecommunications industry.

The Government has proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act, relating to the possible separation of the country's largest listed phone company, Telecom.

Telecom plans to split if it is successful in negotiations with the Government to supply ultra-fast broadband to about 85% of the country.

The proposed law changes were introduced on Wednesday and the deadline for making submissions is next Friday.

TelstraClear chief executive Allan Freeth says it's undemocratic to rush the bill through.

TelstraClear has joined the Telecommunications Users Association in urging the Government to extend the deadline, saying the bill has been delivered in haste with little room for public consultation.

The Communications Minister Steven Joyce says he is not averse to extending the deadline.

He says the decision on whether to extend the deadline beyond next Friday is for the select committee to make.