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Telecom NZ Splits Up

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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand -- Telecom New Zealand chief executive Paul Reynolds said today that 31 March 2008 marked a milestone for the company and for the industry as a whole, as the company’s formal separation into distinct business units paved the way for a new era in telecommunications.

Dr Reynolds was commenting following the finalisation of Telecom’s Undertakings on operational separation.

“Our ‘Separation Day’ is a milestone in so many ways - for our customers, for Telecom’s more than 7,000 staff, and indeed for all users of telecommunications in New Zealand.”

Dr Reynolds said the finalisation of the Undertakings marked the conclusion of a lengthy and exhaustive process of negotiation and discussion, involving the Minister of Communications and his officials, Telecom New Zealand people and many others across the industry.

“MED and Telecom people have worked tirelessly on the detail of the Undertakings for close to a year and as a consequence of thousands of hours of conversations, we have a clear understanding of both the words and the spirit of the Undertakings.

“I'd like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to a bunch of very dedicated people.

“I also want to acknowledge the constructive relationship Minister Cunliffe has brought to his engagement with Telecom New Zealand as the Undertakings have come together in recent months.

“The milestones attached to the Undertakings are challenging but achievable.

“Meanwhile Telecom New Zealand’s people have hit the ground running, with a number of very large infrastructure investment projects in train.

“Collectively these investments will deliver more choice and better products and services for telecommunications users, whether they are business or household consumers.

“A central feature of the Undertakings, our commitment to the accelerated rollout of a world-class fast broadband network, is already under way.

“Installation by our Chorus networks business of the 3,600 roadside cabinets that are the building blocks of this network is happening now.

“Other major investment programmes, such as the rollout of our new mobile network, are also proceeding.

“Our Wholesale business, delivering next generation connectivity to service providers throughout New Zealand, has been operating in a separated way for two years.

“Telecom New Zealand’s retail business is ready to compete in the new environment, with more sophisticated products and services for business and domestic users. And so many of these products and services will be powered by the sophisticated broadband network we are laying down.

“While working across three separate business units, Telecom’s people are united by a single customer focus. With Separation Day here, this focus will be sharper than ever,” Dr Reynolds said.

Telecom New Zealand Ltd. (NYSE: NZT; New Zealand: TEL)

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