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Quicksilver delighted at Govt. broadband package

4 May 2006

Media Release

Quicksilver Internet delighted at Government broadband package

Quicksilver Internet is delighted at yesterday’s surprise broadband announcement from Minister of Communications, David Cunliffe.

Quicksilver managing director, Matthew Hobbs, says: "This will change the way Kiwis do business, communicate and view entertainment. This is the biggest telecommunications shakeup since the Telecom privatisation. It will mean faster, cheaper broadband and innovation in broadband services within two years.”

The new telecommunications package from the Government opens up Telecom's network, paving the way for fair and open competition in the broadband industry. The package includes LLU (Local Loop Unbundling), 'Naked' DSL, unconstrained speeds on regulated UBS (Unbundled Bitstream Service), and increased monitoring to ensure competition in the broadband industry.

Hobbs says "Telecom’s position that the new package tells industry to put away any major investment plans is a falsehood. Major investment plans to effectively duplicate existing infrastructure never stacked up financially. This regulation will give competing ISPs the ability to get far greater bang for their investment buck, and deliver real benefits to the consumer.”

”We applaud the Government's bold action, and encourage it to consider structural separation as an option. We’re delighted at the news – this is a great day for broadband in New Zealand," he says.

The package from the government includes the following key changes:
* Local loop unbundling, to allow other telecommunications companies to use Telecom’s network
* Enhanced information disclosure and an enhanced Commerce Commission monitoring role
* Accounting separation of Telecom's wholesale business operations
* Removing speed constraints on the existing regulated unbundled bitstream service
* Encouraging investment in alternative infrastructure such as fibre, wireless and satellite networks
* Developing a rural package and expansion of the Digital Strategy Broadband Challenge fund.
* Continuing to look at whether additional measures are warranted such as the structural separation of Telecom's retail and lines operations.

Broadband users can look forward to not only cheaper, faster broadband, but the ability to purchase ADSL without the need to buy a Telecom phone line, a tidal wave of new services, information and entertainment delivered over broadband, and a truly fair and competitive environment.

Quicksilver expects that the new Government package will stimulate significant investment in the New Zealand telecommunications industry, and a significant increase in services such as VoIP, Video-on-Demand, and streaming audio and video.

Quicksilver has been developing a number of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) products for launch in 2006, and is shortly due to launch video-on-demand to their broadband customers.

'Naked' DSL (the ability to purchase a DSL service without the requirement to buy a Telecom phone line) and unconstrained speeds on broadband will enable services such as VoIP to really flourish.

Quicksilver is a founding member of industry lobby group ISPANZ, which has worked since 2005 to improve the broadband situation in New Zealand.

ends

Note to editors: Quicksilver (www.quicksilver.co.nz) is an Internet Service Provider offering fast, friendly and affordable telecommunication services to homes and businesses across New Zealand ranging from broadband & dialup internet to direct dial tolls & international calling cards.

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