Access Standards NewsLetters

Access Standards Newsletters up until 2008 can be viewed by clicking here.


News Flashes


Grandfathering and withdrawal of Centrex & ISDN
February 3, 2021

Note that Spark NZ will be moving customers off the below types of lines. Here are the dates when they will be withdrawn.

ISDN Basic Rate: 1 April 2021

ISDN Primary Rate: 18 December 2020

Digital Voice Access: 18 December 2020

Centrex & Global Office: 1 July 2019



Christmas Greetings
December 24, 2020

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Thursday 24th December 2020, and open again on Wednesday 13th January 2021



July 17, 2018

I have been involved with Access Standards since October 1988, but have decided to free up my time to do other things and retire, so will be finishing up on July 27. It is interesting to reflect back over the years and the changes in technology. In 1988 V.22 bis modems (1200 bps full duplex) were a big deal, now VDSL2 at 10s of Mbps is common place. Back in 1988, there were still end to end phone calls made where both the phones and exchange were entirely electromechanical. Now a VoIP call utilizes billions of solid state active elements to achieve the same thing. So, over the last 30 years I have seen a lot of change mainly resulting from the semiconductor industry being able to increase the density of silicon based integrated circuits at an exponential rate (Moore’s Law). For much of that time the speed has also increased, and the cost per active element decreased.

Over my time in Access Standards we have Telepermitted about 10,000 items including everything from replica candlestick phones through to immensely complex Session Border Controllers.

I would like to thank Bill Dawid and Shaun Godfrey for their teamwork over the past years, and their commitment to continuing to keep Access Standards going into the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank CPE suppliers for their patience and co-operation and also the Accredited Test Laboratories for their professional service over the years.

Kind regards
Richard Brent


PTC 100 updated
January 30, 2018

An updated version of PTC 100 which covers the general conditions and description of the Telepermit system is now available. This version simplifies previous versions and includes some specific information about the Telepermitting of mobile products.


PTC 216 finalised, Christmas Greetings
December 20, 2017

A draft of PTC 216 covering the requirements for loudspeaking handsfree terminals was published in August for comment. No changes have been made to the specification and it is now published in final form.

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid, Richard Brent and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Friday 22nd December 2017, and open again on Monday 15th January 2018



Update of TNA 102, Characteristics of the Spark Analogue Telephone Network Customer Interface, TNA 102
October, 2017

Since the last revision of TNA 102 in 1996, there have been a number of changes to the way Spark delivers analogue telephone services to its customers. This updated version of TNA 102, documents the various interfaces currently implemented.


New PTC Specification for Handsfree Loudspeaking Conference Terminals, PTC 216
August 29, 2017

Telepermits have been granted in the PTC 216 series for handsfree loudspeaking conference terminals based on test reports from other Specifications such as PTC 200, PTC 220, S004 etc. This specification refers to these specifications for the network interface, but also includes the specific test methodologies of ITU-T Recommendations P.340 and P.342.

Any comments on this specification are welcomed, and will be considered for the final version of PTC 216.



Christmas Greetings
December 23, 2016

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid, Richard Brent and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Wednesday 23rd December 2016, and open again on Wednesday 16th January 2017



PTC 208 revision
15 April 2016

Further to the publication of PTC 208 in February, a minor change has been found necessary to clarify the testing requirements for Digital (usually USB) headsets. After some study of the USB to Audio specifications, and the data sheets of some of the chips used in the interface, it became clear that USB headsets do not necessarily include a G.711 narrowband codec. The telephony codec is usually implemented in the host system which will often be a SIP client running on a PC to which the USB headset is connected. The digital audio which passes across the USB interface is probably wider bandwidth than the 3.1 kHz telephony, but the SIP client will perform the necessary conversions. The operating system mixer function will then be able to switch seamlessly between wide bandwidth music and telephony.

This revision of PTC 208 clarifies the testing requirement for this scenario, requiring the headset and a compatible telephony application to be tested together. This is the same as an analogue headset which connects to the handset jack of a telephone being tested in conjunction with a telephone. The previous revision of PTC 208 followed AS/CA S004 could be interpreted to mean that a USB (or other digitally connected) headset which didn't have a specific narrowband codec incorporated didn't require most transmission parameters to be tested at all, which is not the intention, so these parameters must be tested in all cases.

The latest version of PTC 208 may be downloaded from the website here.



New PTC274 covering change to Bandplan 998
24 March 2016

Further to the previous news item (16 March), The TCF published an updated Interference Management Plan (IMP). It may be that this will require further revision as the latest ITU-T specification for VDSL2 (Rec G.993.2 January 2015) was published at about the same time which will require some updating of references.

In the meantime, PTC 274 has been updated to cover VDSL2 as it is currently implemented by Chorus in New Zealand. Rather than refer to the IMP, PTC 274 now refers directly to the appropriate ITU-T recomendations.

PTC 274:2016 may now be downloaded from our website.



VDSL2 Bandplan change from 997 to 998
16 March 2016

Over the latter half of 2015, most of the Chorus DSLAMs have been changed from Bandplan 997 to 998. The Telecommunications Carrier's Forum (TCF) Interference Management Plan (IMP) has yet to be updated to reflect this change, possibly because of the ITU-T delay in publishing G.993.2 (01/2015).

Figure 1 shows graphically the Downstream and Upstream frequency bands used by the new 998 bandplan 998ADE17-M2x-A, short name B8-11, and also the old 997 bandplan 997E17-M2x-A, short name B7-9, for comparison. The difference from a performance point of view will be higher Downstream speed traded off against lower Upstream speed. This asymmetry generally reflects the way the internet is used, i.e. stream music and videos and downloading music and movies.

There are other plans which will be included in the IMP when it is finalised, but these are subsets of B8-11 (i.e. lower maximum frequencies) and one plan which includes frequencies up to 30 MHz, 998ADE30-M2x-NUS0, (B8-16). However the current plan implemented by Chorus is B8-11, so testing will be to that plan.

PTC 274 Testing

Until the TCF formally publishes an updated Interference Management Plan, all PTC 274 testing shall test against the PSD masks of ITU-T Rec. G.993.2 (01/2015) Table B.6A Plan 998ADE17-M2x-A, (B8-11). The references for the other tests (total aggregate power, longitudinal balance and longitudinal output voltage) remain the same. The requirements are well summarized in AS/CA S043:2015 Part 2 tables O1 and O2.


PTC Specification for Headsets (PTC 208)
February 26, 2016

Following comments on our draft of PTC 208 back in August last year, The specification is now ready to go to a final version and lose its draft status.

As the tests are similar to PTC 200 and PTC 220, test Laboratories with accreditation to those specifications will be able to test to PTC 208. The list of accreditations will be updated as Laboratories indicate that they wish to test to the new specification.

All headsets must now be tested to PTC 208 and test reports to other specifications will not be accepted after March 31st 2016.



Christmas Greetings
December 23, 2015

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid, Richard Brent and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Wednesday 23rd December 2015, and open again on Wednesday 13th January 2016



PTC Specification for Headsets (PTC 208)
August 31, 2015

For years we have relied upon Test Reports against PTC 200, PTC 220 and AS/CA S004 for evaluating headsets for PTC purposes. Recently, following some difficult to answer questions, it has become apparent that these specifications are not headset specific, and come up short in addressing headsets completely.

In an attempt to clarify some of the grey areas, a new specification, PTC 208 has been drafted to address the requirements of headsets specifically.

A draft for public comment is now available from our website 208d2.pdf.

Any comments should be addressed to Access Standards. After feeback, we hope to finalise the specification and begin accrediting Test Laboratories for testing to the new Specification as soon as possible.



Updated set-up instructions for xDSL modems
May 5, 2015

The generic set-up instructions for ADSL modems ( ) has been updated to include VDSL2 modems. The main difference between ASDL(2+) and VDSL2 is that VDSL2 uses PPPoE and ADSL uses PPPoA.



On-line credit card payment
January 30, 2015

The method of payment by credit card has been upgraded during January 2015 to allow overseas customers to pay Spark bills directly on-line at any time. The system previously required the customer to enter a phone number which was cross checked against the account number, but couldn't be used by overseas customers who didn't have a local phone number. The change to the system allows the customer to enter a line number which appears on the invoice as a 9 digit number starting with "16". It is in the form 16xx-yyyyy, and can be found in the invoice under the heading "Rental & Activity" which is usually on page 3 of the invoice.

Telepermit NZ
 sample customer bill

The process is as follows:



Christmas Greetings
December 23, 2014

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid, Richard Brent and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Tuesday 23rd December 2013, and open again on Wednesday 14th January 2015



VDSL2 Bandplan Change
December 23, 2014 8, 2014

To all VDSL2 Modem Suppliers

Chorus are proposing changes to their access network which is relevant to Spark’s VDSL residential and business customers. We have requested Chorus to test the VDSL modems used by our customers within the Chorus test lab to ensure they will continue to operate after the changes. We expect this testing to take place in February 2015.

Please can you confirm that you are able to make the modems listed below available for this testing. As indicated in an earlier E-mail, Chorus are planning to change the VDSL2 bandplan on their DSLAMs from 997 to 998. This is because bandplan 998 is becoming dominant internationally, and Chorus consider the supply of chipsets which can do 997 in both modems and DSLAMs will begin to dry up.

Chorus has agreed to test a range of VDSL modems used by retail service providers to ensure that there will be no operational problems when they implement the change. Of most significance is a test where the DSLAM running bandplan 997 is switched off for a short period, reconfigured for bandplan 998, and then switched on again.

Possible outcomes are:

  1. The modem will automatically resync to 998 without any customer intervention.
  2. The modem requires to be reset, by the customer either pushing a reset button, or turning the power off for a short period.
  3. The modem needs to be reconfigured by the customer for 998 operation.
  4. The modem needs new firmware to implement 998.
  5. The modem hardware cannot implement 998 at all.

Chorus propose to begin testing in early February 2015, and the purpose of this letter is to seek samples of each Telepermitted modem for 998 testing to be undertaken.

The modems could be returned immediately on completion of testing, although there would be an advantage if Chorus where to hold on to the modem to enable future testing should DSLAM hardware or software be upgraded at some future date. Note that the testing of Telepermitted VDSL modems will be undertaken by Chorus at no cost.

Chorus would like all providers that currently provide VDSL2 capable modems to their customers, for use on the Chorus network, to provide Chorus with 2 of each Telepermitted or ChorusPermitted model.

These modems:

  • Should be configured as they would be for their customers and have the current software versions loaded.
  • Provided with any default passwords installed on the modems and contact details for their Technical person/team in case of any issues.
  • Ideally Chorus would like 2x of each modem so that if a modem has an abnormal behaviour they can check it against another of the same model & configuration (to rule out a modem fault) and also it will speed up testing, as some tests can be run in parallel
  • Will be needed for at least 3 month (6 months max), but would ask that RSPs to indicate if they would like Chorus to retain or return the modems at completion of this series of testing. If retained, Chorus would store modems in our CPC lab.
  • Should like to receive modems in mid Jan to enable build of lab to start early in the new year.

They should be sent to:

Level 10, State Insurance Building
1 Willis Street

Attn: Chandra Palani



Telecom New Zealand becomes Spark New Zealand
August 8, 2014

From August 8, 2014, Telecom New Zealand becomes Spark New Zealand. Some of the Telepermit Website has been updated to reflect this name change, and the rest of it will be updated progressively. In the meantime, all instances of "Telecom" should be read as "Spark".

This does not change any other aspects of the Telepermit system, although we are considering a minor change to the Telepermit label format.



Telepermit Label
March 21, 2014

We get a number of questions regarding the colour of the Telepermit label. The grant letters state:

Tick and Word "TELEPERMIT" Telecom Green (Pantone PMS 375)
Other Text and Box: Either Pantone PMS 375 or Black
Background: Either White or Silver"

It is often inconvenient to add the green colour especially if the label is part of a larger label printed in black on a white background. We have usually agreed to the label being printed in black on a white or silver background, and this notice formally approves the use of black printing on a white or silver background as being an acceptable alternative to the green printing.

From now on the instructions on Telepermit grant letters will read

Tick and Word "TELEPERMIT" Telecom Green (Pantone PMS 375) or Black
Other Text and Box: Either Pantone PMS 375 or Black
Background: Either White or Silver"



Christmas Greetings
December 10, 2013

As the year draws to a close Bill Dawid, Richard Brent and Shaun Godfrey wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Friday 20th December 2013, and open again on Monday 13th January 2014


Change of Address
December 6, 2013

From Friday Decemeber 6, 2013, our address will be:

Access Standards
Level 10, Telecom Central, Boulcott
42-52 Willis Street
PO Box 570


Access Standards
Level 10, Telecom Central, Boulcott
42-52 Willis Street

Our Telephone numbers remain the same:

Richard Brent

Phone: +64 4 382 5344

Bill Dawid

Phone: +64 4 382 5730

Shaun Godfrey

Phone: +64 4 802 9860

Payment by Credit Card
July 3, 2013

The method of payment by credit card has changed from 18 June 2013. Instead of emailing us a credit card payment form, payment is now made directly by telephone.

The process is as follows:

* This is for New Zealand customers only, overseas customers should obtain the appropriate number from and go to the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page ( ).


April 23, 2013

Alan Reedy decided to call it a day and has retired. His last day was last Friday (19th April). We celebrated the occassion with our previous Manager Doug Burrus with a very pleasant lunch on Friday. Apologies to anyone who tried to contact us by phone on Friday afternoon.

Alan started with Access Standards in 2000, so has been with the group for 13 years. At that time V.90 dial-up modems were the state of the art for internet access, with ADSL just about to be released. Interestingly the other technology on everbodies lips back then was VoIP, with predictions that circuit switches such as our NEAX would be switched off within 5 years. 13 years latter, Internet access has moved from V.90 modems to ADSL to ADSL2+ to VDSL2 with Fibre and LTE mobile about to pick up the high performance end. VoIP on the other hand has not caused many circuit switches to be shut down, and has made a bigger impact on the PBX/Private voice network.

Over this time Alan has processed thousands of Telepermits and I'm sure he will be already enjoying a break from that. Like Doug he has plenty to keep himself occupied during his retirement. I would like to thank Alan personally for his huge contribution to Access Standards and its clients over the last 13 years, and wish him all the best in a long and enjoyable retirement.


April 23, 2013

To help pick up some of Alan's workload, Shaun Godfrey will be joining the group on a part time basis. Shaun currently works with the mobile test team, and in particular gathers the documentation and test reports together for mobile devices not only for PTC purposes, but also for Telecom as a mobile device supplier. He is very familiar with the regulatory requirements around Safety, EMC, and all the various radio standards (note that some of the newer mobile devices can have 4 or 5 different radio transmitters). Shaun's contact details are:


Phone:+64-4-802 9860
Mobile:+64-27-284 4809

Physical Address: level 3, Gen-i Plaza,
57 - 65 Manners Street



Christmas Greetings
December 21, 2012

As the year draws to a close Alan Reedy, Bill Dawid, and Richard Brent wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from Friday 21st December 2012, and open again on Monday 14th January 2013



PTC273 Update
November 27, 2012

PTC 273 has been updated so that it aligns with the Telecommunications Carrier's Forum (TCF) Interference Management Plan (IMP). The changes add tests for total aggregate power and longitudinal output voltage and changes the upstream spectrum for Reach Extended ADSL2 (READSL2) from Mode 1 to Mode 2 to bring it into line with the TCF IMP. Mode 2 was chosen over mode 1 by the TCF as it reduces mutual interference between READSL2 and Basic Rate ISDN.



PTC331 Update
May 1, 2012

Parts A and C of PTC331 (Network Interconnection using ITU-T No. 7 Signalling) has been updated. An introduction and explanatory notes to the update can be viewed by clicking here. Thre are no changes which will affect existing networks interconnected with Telecom's PSTN, but there are some optional additional capabilities and the removal of some existing limitations which future networks can take advantage of.

The upgrades to the network will be progressively rolled out during May 2012.



Christmas Greetings
December 23, 2011

As the year draws to a close Alan Reedy, Bill Dawid, and Richard Brent wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Access Standards will be closed down from 24th December, and open again on 16th January 2012



Access Standards has moved
October 18, 2011

We have moved to a new address from the Tory Street Telecom Centre where we spent the past 10 years.
Our new address is:

L3 Gen-i Plaza
57-65 Manners Street
Wellington 6011

Our phone numbers remain the same, although at this point we do not have a fax machine, but will advise when this is connected.

Electronic Telepermit Applications

We now have no facilities for storing any paper based files, so it would be appreciated if all Telepermit Application documentation could be sent electronically either as email attachments, ftp sites or physically on CD or DVD.



Change to TNA134
September 22, 2011

A correction has been made to TNA134B4.pdf - Telecom ISDN User - Network Interface, Layer 3 - Part B: Basic Call Control Procedures (Section 4) . Table 4-12/B, which gives the coding for the Calling party number information element, shows coding (octet 3, bits 6 and 7) for the (caller ID) presentation indicator. The Telecom ISDN does not support this feature, and setting these bits will not be recognised by the network, and will not be generated by the network. If the Calling party number is to be withheld, the called party number should be prefixed by 0197, or where all Caller ID information is withheld as a subscription time option, then the number may be presented by prefixing the called party number with 0196. This is consistant with the procedure used by analogue phones connected to the PSTN.

Table 4-12/B has a note added to this effect.

"NOTE 2 - The Network does not accept or pass a Presentation Indicator set by customer CPE. Instead of the Network provided CLIR Service or CLIR Overide (0196) or CLIP Withhold (0197) code prefex dialling can be used."



Withdrawal of PTC103
August 5, 2011

Following some feed back from those involved in telecommunications wiring in residential premises, where the status of PTC103 was questioned, PTC103 has now been withdrawn as a code of practice for new installation work. The specification remains available on this website, but is only intended as an historical reference which may be useful in repair situations. It is strongly recommended that when repairs are being undertaken to legacy daisy chain wiring, either a home distributor or a Network Interface Device (NID) be installed between the ETP and the first BT jackpoint, thus bringing the installation into line with the TCF code of practice (see figure 14).

As neither the cabling nor the BT jackpoint used in PTC103 compliant installations are suitable for use in the TCF code, they should be left in place, as they are still adequate for telephony and voiceband data such as fax. By installing a home distributor or NID, they will be separated from the data cabling, and are still compatible with the BT plug terminated line cords which are supplied with most CPE.

For some time to come there will be a mixture of RJ45 and BT jackpoints in residential premises, and the corresponding uncertainty as to which type of line cord should be supplied with analogue CPE. The following possibilies are suggested.

There are no doubt other satisfactory options which suppliers will come up with.



Time for which Telepermit Holder Obligations remain valid
June 1, 2011

Following an email enquiry, it became apparent that the time over which a Telepermit holder must meet the obligations documented in PTC 100 is not clear. To clarify this a new clause has been added to PTC100 as follows:

11.9 Continuing Obligation


1. The product still meets the PTC requirements when the Telepermit was granted.
2. There have been no network changes which would adversely affect the operation of the product.
3. The product is still being used by customers,

The obligations of the Telepermit Holder stated in clauses 11.1 to 11.8 shall remain for the reasonable life time of the product.

  • The reasonable life time of a product would be generally the same as the time over which there is an onus to repair or service a product under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.
  • Telecom may cancel a Telepermit for reasons set out in cluase 12.2. However PTC 100 and the Consumer Guarantess Act still apply to product which has already been sold.



Clocking PBXs from the PSTN
March 15, 2011

PBX installers are reminded that Customer Equipment (CE) must take its clocking or synchronising signals from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

If the PBX is correctly set up so that it takes its synchronising signals from the PSTN then the PABX will in effect become part of the network and clocking glitches (slips) between the PBX and the PSTN will be eliminated.

This means the installer must set up the PBX to accept clocking pulses for the PBX from the incoming E1 stream; different PABX models may use different terminology such as:

  • RX clock
  • RX Timing
  • Loopback

Currently the Telecom PSTN is experiencing 10,000 slips a month and they are all coming from DTLM (our local variety of E1) and PRA interfaces with PBXs. This can only be happening because installers have set the PBX to use its internal clock to synchronise its interfacing arrangements.



Christmas Greetings, and Office closedown
December 23, 2010

Access Standards will be closed down from 24th December, and open again on 10th January 2011

From the Access Standards Team, Alan, Bill and Richard, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



PTC190 published
December 23, 2010

PTC190 December 2010, Requirements for connection 0 - 4 kHz systems to metallic Copper Cable is now published. This is intended to cover Central Office POTS equipment which can share a cable pair with an ADSL(2+) or VDSL DSLAM.



PTC257 published
September 30, 2010

PTC257: September 2010, Requirements for connection of WCDMA devices to the Telecom New Zealand WCDMA (XT) network is now published. PTC testing for WCDMA devices is performed by Telecom DTR (Device Technology Realisation). List of Accredited Laboratories



Notice of Telepermit Assessment fee increase
September 30, 2010

Our charges for Telepermit processing were last increased on 1 July 2003. While we have tried to keep fee increases to a minimum there is an inevitable point where we can no longer absorb our increased costs.

In the circumstances, we will be increasing our Telepermit processing charges from 1 January 2011. Our revised charging structure, inclusive of GST, will be as follows:-

Assessment of CPE with single network interface e.g. PSTN, ISDN, ADSL2+ etc, inclusive of their power supplies, where applicable $393.75 $430
Assessment of additional network interfaces for CPE with more than one different network interface $393.75 $430
Assessment of additional products in a family, which can be assessed from one set of test reports, and are processed at the same time. $130.50 $150
Variations to products, product name changes, etc, for which no test reports have to be examined$78.75$90

"Bulk changes" covering several products and part of the same request will be subject to a range of discounts depending on the number of products involved. The general aim is to charge according to the total amount of work we need to do

Telepermit applications received before 1 January 2011 will be processed at the current charge, but only if they have been sent with all the necessary submission information by that date.

Note that the additional charge related to the additional work involved in examining overseas test reports does NOT apply to electrical safety test reports (overseas test labs report to IEC 950 or IEC 60950, which apply also in New Zealand).

We will continue to provide our usual advisory service to Telepermit applicants at no cost, as we are happy to assist suppliers to meet our requirements in what ever way we can.



New Version of PTC285 published
June 2, 2010

PTC285, Requirements for VDSL2 Splitters, has been amended (iss 4) to include the option of a wire ended device without the weather proof encapsulation. This intended for use indoors rather than in the ETP. The electrical characteristics remain unchanged.



Replacement of Premises Wiring Code of practice (PTC106)
May 3, 2010

As the Code of Practice for customer premises is applicable to all carriers and service providers, it is appropriate that ongoing development of this document should be overseen by the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum (TCF). PTC106 (Star wiring Code of Practice) and PTC225 (Home Distributer) have therefore been withdrawn as Telecom documents, and are replaced by a single document TCF Premises Wiring Code of Practice : February 2010. This document may be obtained from the TCF website at:



Christmas Greetings, and Office closedown
December 24, 2009

Access Standards will be closed down from 24th December, and open again on 11th January 2010

From the Access Standards Team, Alan, Bill and Richard, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



PTC 228 Draft Specification for SIP Trunking
December 23, 2009

A new network interface for PBXs will be trialled in the new year. This is an IP access using SIP signalling and is intended to compliment existing ISDN access, and possibly eventually replace it altogether. Features of the new service are that it gives direct access to the Telecom IP core, and includes gateways to the PSTN. The specification for SIP trunking is PTC228

Initially PTC testing will be carried out in the Telecom Network Integration Laboratory (NIL) in Tory Street Wellington, using a model VoIP/PSTN Network. We are currently working through the testing methodology, and hopefully we will be able to accredit external laboratories when we have a better feel for what is required.