High Court rules some broadcasters subject to Telecommunications Development Levy

Tristan Gilbertson (Telecommunications Commissioner)

Tristan Gilbertson (Telecommunications Commissioner)

Credit: Supplied

The High Court has clarified that it is not just telcos that are subject to the Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL), but broadcasters as well.

A judgment issued by the court at the end of last week clarified that  businesses involved in the transmission of broadcasting signals should be required to contribute to the TDL. 

The Commerce Commission sought clarity from the High Court after amendments to the Telecommunications Act in 2018 removed an exemption for “broadcasting” from the definition of “telecommunication”. The other parties involved in the case were Kordia, Sky TV, TVNZ, Optus, and Chorus, as an intervenor. 

Telecommunications commissioner Tristan Gilbertson said the commission had to determine the amount of the TDL paid by industry participants according to a statutory framework in the Act by around December each year and welcomed the clarity that the judgment provided. 

“It was important for us to be able to decide on liability for the TDL with a clear view of whether any of the broadcasters are liable as a result of the amendments to the Telecommunications Act,” he said.

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