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Support for "local loop unbundling"

Support for "local loop unbundling"

North Shore City Council firmly believes that freeing up the local telecommunications network will create faster, cheaper internet access for its community.

The city's strategy and finance committee agrees that 'local loop unbundling' will provide greater choice and competition, and will not inhibit the development of wireless technologies.

The Commerce Commission proposes to open up Telecom's copper network to allow competitors to attach their own technology and provide alternative high-speed broadband (fast internet access) to consumers.

The committee received presentations from TelstraClear's chief executive, Rosemary Howard, and Telecom's government and industry advocate, Bruce Parkes, explaining the unbundling issue from their respective organisations' points of view. TelstraClear supports the Commerce Commission's stance while Telecom is opposed to the idea.

The committee also heard that most OECD countries have already taken up the challenge to free up their networks leaving New Zealand and Mexico trailing behind.

Committee chairperson Tony Holman says councillors listened to the arguments for and against to weigh up the benefits for North Shore City's residents and businesses.

"We need to consider what's best for them and faster, cheaper access to telecom services is the way forward," he says.

"This is supported in our city's draft economic development strategy which we approved in principle last month."

Councillor Tony Holman and Mayor George Wood will write to the Commerce Commission to express the council's strong support for its 'local loop unbundling' proposal.

A copy of the Commerce Commission's report can be viewed on its website www.comcom.govt.nz.

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