Thursday, 16 December 2021 12:25

NZ Commerce Commission allocates telco development levy among providers

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The Commerce Commission has released its final decision on the allocation of payments for the Government’s Telecommunications Development Levy for 2020/21 among providers of telecommunications services.

Spark, Vodafone, Chorus, and 2degrees will collectively pay approximately 88% of the $10.145 million levy for the year from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. The remainder of the levy is divided among other liable providers. The amount each provider pays is proportionate to their telecommunications revenue.

The levy is paid by companies earning more than $10 million per year from telecommunications services, including internet, mobile, data, and broadcasting transmission services. The Government uses the levy to pay for telecommunications infrastructure and services that are not commercially viable, including the relay service for the deaf and hearing-impaired, broadband for rural areas, and improvements to the 111 emergency service, the Commission advised.

The final determination follows consultation with affected parties and comes after the Commission sought clarification from the High Court on whether businesses involved in the transmission of broadcasting signals are liable to contribute to the levy following amendments to the Telecommunications Act in 2018, which removed an exemption for “broadcasting” from the definition of “telecommunication”.

In a judgment issued in October, the High Court confirmed that, apart from free-to-air broadcasters and satellite providers operating outside New Zealand, businesses involved in broadcasting transmission can be liable to pay the levy. The main impact for the 2020/21 levy year is that Sky TV is now liable to contribute to the levy for the first time and Kordia will pay a higher share than in previous years, the Commission stated.

A copy of the final determination is available on the Commission’s website.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 14 December 2021.


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Chris Coughlan

A versatile technology executive with extensive experience in most disciplines and technologies in the Information and Communications Technologies sector. Roles have encompassed general management, product management, business development, sales management, industry marketing, operations management, research and development, business case development, market research and forecasting, regulatory, strategy management, solution development, major project construction, process design and management, technology and management consulting, and engineering.

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