New Zealand’s Commerce Commission finalised the amount each telecoms operator will pay to the government’s Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL), which increased to NZD11.3 million ($6.9 million) for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2023 from NZD10.5 million the previous year.

Spark, One New Zealand, Chorus and 2degrees will collectively pay about 87 per cent of the total levy, with 21 smaller companies responsible for the remainder.

But the Commission declined to levy fees on Starlink, deciding it did not meet the minimum annual revenue threshold of NZD10 million needed to be subject to the levy.

Submissions on the Commission’s draft proposal from the country’s Internet Service Providers Association and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association called for Starlink to be classified as liable to be assessed for the levy and included in the final allocation of payment.

The Commission stated it would engage with Starlink and others as part of the fiscal 2023 to 2024 TDL process.

One NZ has an agreement with Starlink to boost rural coverage using LEO satellites.

Spark and 2degrees are working with Lynk Global, which was also excluded from the Commission’s assessment.

The Commission increased Spark’s payment from NZD3.4 million to NZD3.5 million, with the operator accounting for 31.1 per cent of industry revenue in fiscal 2022 to 2023.

One NZ is liable for NZD2.7 million compared with NZD2.6 million the previous year and 2degrees NZD2.2 million (NZD2.1 million).

The funds are used to pay for infrastructure and services which are not commercially viable, including a relay service for the hearing-impaired, broadband for rural areas and improvements to the 111-emergency service.