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Telecommunications Bill Overlooks Many

2 May 2001

The Government's telecommunications bill won't have the 'fair and equitable' outcomes for all New Zealanders that Communications Minister Paul Swain promises," National's Communications spokesperson Alec Neill said today.

"There is much concern that rural Internet and IT users are being overlooked, despite Mr Swain telling us that the communications reforms would ensure the rural sector better Internet access.

"The bill, which is the Government's response to last year's ministerial telecommunications inquiry, does nothing to ensure rural New Zealand has access to the best and most up-to-date telecommunication services.

"Mr Swain has so far only produced talk. His bill as it stands guarantees many rural areas continued isolation from an adequate Internet connection. That's appalling considering it's the rural sector that's driving our economy. It needs to maintain its competitive edge.

"The public has a great opportunity to challenge the Government's bill. Next week it will be referred to the Commerce Select Committee for public submissions and consideration," Alec Neill said.


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