NZ Government seeks feedback on draft Telecommunications Development Levy

New Zealand Government
Thursday, 11 November, 2021

NZ Government seeks feedback on draft Telecommunications Development Levy

The Commerce Commission of the New Zealand Government released its draft decision on the allocation of payments for the Government’s $10 million Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL) for 2020/21 among providers of telecommunications services. The TDL is paid by companies earning more than $10 million per year from telecommunications services, including internet, mobile and data 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 draft determination 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 last month, 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 TDL. The result is that Sky TV is now liable to contribute to the TDL for the first time and Kordia will pay a higher share than previous years.

A copy of the draft determination and information about how to provide a submission is available on the Commission’s website. Submissions are due by 5 pm, 23 November 2021. The Commission expects to release its final determination in December after considering feedback.

Image credit: © cernecovs/EyeEm

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