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Spectrum for new telecommunications services

28 September, 2001 Media Statement

Spectrum for new telecommunications services

Communications Minister Paul Swain is releasing a discussion document that looks at auctioning radio spectrum bands for new telecommunication services.

"Some of this new spectrum could be used to provide high speed Internet access to rural areas," Paul Swain said.

"The discussion paper contains proposals for allocating spectrum suitable for:
- Wireless Local Loop (WLL);
- Local Multi-point Distribution Services (LMDS);
- Possible further cellular use in the 900 MHz bands.

“The WLL spectrum in particular offers the potential for high speed Internet access to rural areas.

"The Government has identified better access to high-speed Internet and other services as a key issue, particularly for those living outside the main centres.

"We will be setting bold targets for all New Zealanders to have better high-speed Internet access. We are currently determining the role of government in this and will make announcements soon.

"One of the options proposed in the discussion document is whether some spectrum should be retained to assist communities in the rollout of wireless broadband.

“The radio spectrum discussion document contains proposals to allow both nation-wide access and geographically specific licences in spectrum retained by the Crown," he said.

The LMDS bands are suited to short haul, wide-band services around urban areas for data, voice or video distribution.

Copies of the discussion paper are available from the Ministry of Economic Development and from the Ministry’s web site at http://www.med.govt.nz/pbt/rad_spec/wll/. Submissions close on 20 October. The Government is expected to make decisions later this year that will enable an auction of these frequency bands in 2002.

ENDS

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