Achieving a Common Market for Telecommunications Services in Australia and New Zealand
Australian Year Book of International Law, Vol. 26, pp. 149-197, 2007
49 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2008 Last revised: 22 Feb 2010
In this paper, we first identify in Part II the benefits of a common telecommunications market in Australia and New Zealand, before explaining in Part III the extent to which these two countries are already subject to obligations to liberalise telecommunications and harmonise associated regulations. Part IV surveys the treatment of telecommunications services in certain FTAs other than the CER, while Part V examines some practical considerations that will arise in creating a common market of the kind envisaged, including the feasibility of harmonising telecommunications regulation, the need to ensure compliance with WTO obligations, and the formal structures that could be used to set out the parties agreement. We do not purport to propose the optimal regulatory content for a common telecommunications market in these two countries; that is a matter for the respective governments and their constituencies. Nevertheless, we conclude that, as a first step, Australia and New Zealand could incorporate telecommunications expressly in the MOU work program, with a view to establishing in subsequent years a more permanent agreement on telecommunications in the CER. This would not only bring the two countries closer to their goal of a single economic market, but also potentially encourage greater telecommunications competition and liberalisation worldwide, with resulting benefits for both consumers and suppliers in Australia and New Zealand.
Keywords: Telecommunications, Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Closer Economic Relations (CER), Agreement, Common Market
JEL Classification: F02, L96, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation