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Alexander: United Future communications policy

Media Statement
For immediate release

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Alexander: United Future communications policy

United Future will ensure that New Zealand has an open and competitive modern telecommunications infrastructure, promoting delivery of better service at better prices, within a sound regulatory framework to protect the public interest, Marc Alexander said today. "Safeguarding children from harmful Internet material will be a high priority for a United Future-influenced government," Mr Alexander, United Future's communications spokesman, said.

"We have already managed to put the crime of 'grooming' minors for sex on the law books, and the internet has fast become a hunting ground for such scum. We will work with the Internet Safety Group and the industry to ensure that appropriate internet filtering software and other appropriate safety measures - including effective codes of practice - are adopted.

"Another priority is to fight for 'number portability': the right of telephone customers to be able to change providers and to take their phone number with them"

"But to promote greater competitiveness in the communications marketplace, one of the major steps we must take is to break the monopoly over the copper wire network, by unbundling the local loop."

United Future will also:

* Support Project PROBE as a way of ensuring that rural schools and communities have access to high-speed Internet services.

* Strike a regulatory balance between promoting competition through providing access for competitors to network assets, and maintaining the incentives for operators to invest in new networks.

ENDS

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