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Industry call to break broadband monopoly backed

3 February 2005

Greens back industry call to break broadband monopoly

Telecom's monopoly over the IT wire infrastructure is harming New Zealand businesses and denying people access to technology, Green Party Information and Communications Technology spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

"The Government needs to get some courage, ignore Telecom's threats and deal with it.

"At least one major IT company has said that the poor broadband situation is affecting what they can sell here, compared with across the Tasman. New Zealanders are being short-changed because the Government has rejected Local Loop Unbundling," he says.

"While it is no surprise that Telecom wants to maintain their monopoly, what is astonishing is that the government has let them.

"A strong IT infrastructure is one significant way that New Zealand can compensate for our geographical distance from other land masses. That possibility is being hampered by Telecom's monopoly over the copper wire network."

The Green Party is calling on the Government to make some strong decisions to free up the network and allow other companies direct access to it. That would allow competitors to disregard the arbitrary limits that Telecom currently places on broadband speeds, as well as potentially bring prices down.

"The innovation that will explode with cheap and fast broadband is an exciting prospect. It will open up whole new ways of doing things, both in business and in the home.

"New Zealanders are generally quick to take up new technologies and advance them, but they are being denied this possibility because of Telecom's short-sightedness and the Labour Government's lack of courage," Nandor says.

ENDS


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