Clear Begins Renegotiation with Telecom NZ

AUCKLAND (05/05/2000) - Having out-thought and out-foxed Telecom New Zealand Ltd. in recent weeks, Clear Communications has maintained the initiative by kicking off the formal renegotiation of the two companies' interconnection agreement.

The original 1996 agreement must be renegotiated by the end of this year, and recently entered a period during which either party could trigger talks. Clear CEO Tim Cullinane has not only set off the process, but suggested the shape of a likely deal.

In a letter to Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung, Cullinane, noting that the current Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications "has the potential to significantly influence the competitive environment" proposed a new agreement which could either be amended or would be of short duration.

Cullinane's call for a "telecommunications agreement for the new millennium" may have some attraction for Telecom as a way to demonstrate goodwill while the inquiry is in progress, and to extract itself from the mess its 0867 initiative has become.

Cullinane says Clear will push for a new agreement "that promotes the growth of Internet and other IP (Internet protocol)-based forms of communication alongside conventional traffic, and encourages choice for customers".

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