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Govt Decision Gives Weight - Smartlinx3 Initiative

24 May 2004

Govt Decision Gives Weight To Smartlinx3 Initiative

Communications Minister Paul Swain's decision not to support unbundling of the local loop vindicates the decision of Upper Hutt, Hutt City and Porirua city councils and businesses to establish a company with the objective of providing an open access network enabling more affordable access to true broadband services, said Smartlinx3 chairman Wayne Stemp.

"The decision will undoubtedly hamper true competition and competitive prices for broadband services for the foreseeable future, especially in the three cities that Smartlinx3 will service," said Mr Stemp.

"Already Smartlinx3 is pursuing opportunities with parties who may have been disappointed with the Government's decision and who will now be looking for alternative access to "last mile" infrastructure.

"Although it is early days yet, we believe that there are opportunities for Smartlinx3 as a future network provider to work with these service providers to deliver a range of improved broadband services within the three cities." said Mr Stemp.

"Rather than sit around and waiting for change we are determined to take control of our futures and ensure our cities' businesses can compete effectively with businesses elsewhere in the region and country that benefit from greater competition and investment in broadband services.

For example, businesses in the Hutt Valley and Porirua can be paying significantly more for similar type broadband services than Wellington City-based businesses, due to the presence of Citylink in the Wellington CBD.

The city councils and a number of businesses are contributing to the establishment of Smartlinx3.

ENDS


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