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Maurice Williamson Talks Local Loop Unbundling

Maurice Williamson Talks Local Loop Unbundling

by Lyndon Hood

National Party Spokesman for Communications & Information Technology Maurice Williamson believes there is no need for local loop unbundling and is concerned at the number of industry players trying to piggyback on Telecom without investing in their own networks.

Unbundling would require Telecom to let other providers operate telecommunications services (notably Internet services) using Telecom's copper wire network and exchanges via a pricing regime that has yet to be determined.

Speaking to Scoop today, Williamson noted that there had been no explanation as to what changed to cause the Government to advocate local loop unbundling.

The Government had previously accepted the Telecommunications Commissioner's finding that there were no clear benefits in unbundling.

He said that OECD figure showed broadband uptake to reflect the size of the economy: "The figure that keeps getting bandied about is that we're 22nd in the OECD for broadband. Well we're actually 22nd in the OECD for GDP per capita."

Williamson does not think unbundling will help broadband uptake, citing a commentator on the Australian experience, new technologies such as wireless internet and also the unique circumstances of New Zealand:

"We had very very high uptake of internet early on through dialup, and I know a lot of people who still remain on dialup and are happy to do so."

While National did not see a need for local loop unbundling it would be unlikely to overturn it, as that would ride roughshod over the investments others would make in the interim.


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