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Telecommunications Concern for Marlborough Sounds

21 December 2000

Concern for Marlborough Sounds in telecommunications reforms

Green Party MP Ian Ewen-Street today said he was concerned about the one per cent of the population who will not benefit from the telcommunication reforms, as these people will mainly be in the Marlborough Sounds.

"While the Greens are pleased with the overall thrust of the reforms, as a Marlborough-based MP I am concerned for those mainly rural residents who look set to continue to be marginalised in terms of available telecommunications services," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"It is great that 99 per cent of the population will likely be better off under these reforms but the one percent who will not be will mainly be in the Marlborough Sounds area."

Mr Ewen-Street said these people will continue to be on 'party lines' and will be unable to have any of the following: confidential conversations, answer machines, faxes, cordless phones and phone banking.

"Internet access is simply a fantasy for these people and they also have no cellular coverage," he said.

"This really is a disgraceful state of affairs and this situation, which prevents many Sounds' residents from having basic telecommunication services, let alone participating in the digital revolution.

"I firmly believe the provision of basic services for these people needs to be addressed before we look at boosting and enhancing the services available to the 99 per cent of the population," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6727, 025 902 527

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