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Broadband At Last, But Where's The Competition?

4 June 2004

Broadband At Last, But Where's The Competition?

New Zealand First says that recent reports on tender bids for Project Probe raise serious questions about the lack of competitiveness in the telecommunications market.

Associate Education spokesperson Jim Peters said that it is curious that although Project Probe is supposed to increase the level of competition in the broadband market in the regions, Telecom looks likely to end up with 11 of the 14 regions on offer.

“I question why Whoosh Wireless were always optimistic in their projections, but are likely to end up with only one region.

“This comes shortly after the Government’s unfortunate acceptance of Commissioner Webb’s ‘loop’ proposals which will prevent real competition in the marketplace, and merely reinforce Telecom’s dominance in the market.

“Despite these very real misgivings, it is pleasing that at long last there may be appropriate broadband services in the regions.

“Continued months of non-performance by the Probe team and the Ministry of Education has been extremely disappointing.

“Now that the contracting difficulties appear to have been resolved, albeit in an uncompetitive manner, schools may finally see some benefit from the many promises made by the Minister of Education.

“Rural New Zealand has for too long been neglected by this urban-focused government. Hopefully at long last there is light at the end of the tunnel, and telecommunication services that everyone else takes for granted can be enjoyed right down to the end of the country roads,” said Mr Peters.


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