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Telco Bill Leaves NZ With Turkey, Mexico

Telecommunications Bill Leaves New Zealand With Turkey, Mexico

Green Telecommunications spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said the Greens are deeply disappointed that the Telecommunications bill does not remove Telecom's monopoly over the local copper wire network.

Ms Kedgley said the bill, which is being debated in Parliament today, failed to address Telecom's monopoly over the copper wire network and therefore thwarted the roll-out of high-speed, competitively priced broadband services in New Zealand.

"Far from riding the knowledge wave, New Zealand is losing competition in the telecommunications marketplace, because of the Government's unwillingness to unbundle the local copper wire network," she said.

"Virtually all developed countries have already moved to unbundle their local loop, because competitive access to the copper wire network is considered vital in the development of an internet economy and the transition into the information age," Ms Kedgley said.

"New Zealand now sits alongside Turkey, Mexico and Switzerland as the only OECD countries that have not taken the decision to unbundle their local loop."

A recently released OECD report says that infrastructure competition in areas such as the local loop is the best way to develop high-speed, competitively priced broadband services, which are the key to the development of an internet economy and the transition into the information age.

"The Minister of Communications says the Government is committed to an open, competitive market for telecommunications. Yet it will not end Telecom's monopoly on a key telecommunications infrastructure.

"As a result, New Zealand risks slipping into third world status," she said.

"We are supposed to be an agricultural nation at the leading edge of global innovation, yet we cannot even supply our farmers with a decent internet service. This bill will not solve these problems."

Ends


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