Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Fair Internet Pricing a victory for consumer fight-back

Media Release – Tuesday 5 November 2013

Fair Internet Pricing a victory for consumer fight-back

The Commerce Commission’s final decision to put a ceiling on the pricing for the most basic level of internet access will help ensure it doesn’t become unaffordable for students struggling under financial pressure, says the NZ Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

“We believe the rigorous stand taken by the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing – with leadership from Consumer NZ, InternetNZ and the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) – has delivered a clear message that the independence and regulatory oversight provided in such matters by an agency like the Commerce Commission should never be disregarded let alone bypassed,” says NZUSA President Pete Hodkinson.

“We agree with TUANZ that copper and fibre are not the same product, any more than black and white television is the same as colour. Put simply no one should be paying more to get less - least of all students who are struggling to pay rising fees or meet daily living costs, and especially the one in six that studies reveal are facing absolute financial distress.

“The fact that the Commission’s final unbundled bit-stream access (UBA) price is going to be around half the current monthly charge – at $10.92 (still the high end of the new benchmark) rather than the current $21.46 – just goes to confirm the scale of unjustifiable profits being made, and why this was characterised as a Copper Tax.

“NZUSA became a supporter of the Coalition as a way to signal that price gouging in all sectors has to stop,” says Hodkinson.

“We see some parallels with the tertiary education sector, where, if there is a funding gap the government looks the other way by unfairly pushing costs on to students, while totally ignoring the public good benefits of tertiary education.

“Students and young people are particularly dependent on fair and affordable internet pricing. We are also the ones who have repeatedly heard promises from this current government that the future will consist of high-speed fibre options.

“Given Chorus already hold an effective monopoly over this it would be very rich of them to suggest, as they have today, that they should be allowed to wriggle out of a fairer pricing regime for all New Zealanders, a positive change that won’t even take effect until this time next year.

“Chorus suggests the Commerce Commission decision is a disaster for them, whereas we would suggest that unfair pricing like this that impacts on students and young people in New Zealand is a much bigger disaster, and that there should be a whole host of similar reviews – from an inquiry into a supermarket duopoly that imposes unfair food prices through to calling out private landlords who gouge profits from unfit housing”.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news