The Commerce Commission has penalised internet service provider MyRepublic for failing to provide information needed to calculate its share of the Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL).
The regulator said today the ISP failed to provide the information by the due date and only did so after being pursued by the commission for several months, breaching its statutory obligations.
The TDL is paid by larger telecommunications firms and is used by government to pay for telecommunications infrastructure, including the relay service for the deaf and hearing-impaired, broadband for rural areas and improvements to 111 emergency calling services.
Under the Telecommunications Act, liable companies must provide the commission with annual audited financial information that the commission can use to apportion the levy.
MyRepublic was issued with a written warning for a similar breach in 2018.
“MyRepublic has now breached its TDL obligations for two years in a row,” said telecommunications commissioner Tristan Gilbertson.
“This is unacceptable – it undermines the integrity of the system and is unfair on the New Zealanders who depend on the critical infrastructure and services supported by TDL funds.”
The Commission decided to issue a civil infringement notice in response to MyRepublic’s breach. This carries a fixed pecuniary penalty currently set at $2000.
However, should MyRepublic fail to comply in future, the commission said it would take the company's previous breaches into account when considering the appropriate response, including proceedings to pursue a pecuniary penalty in the High Court of up to $300,000 for each breach.
“We’ve taken this action to reinforce the importance of compliance with statutory obligations and signal to all stakeholders that future non-compliance by any liable company will be met with more stringent enforcement responses,” Gilbertson said.