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InternetNZ hits nail on head - Greens

24 February 2006

InternetNZ hits nail on head - Greens

The Government should listen to proposals from InternetNZ on reform of New Zealand's telecommunications regulatory framework, and make a decision based on what's good for New Zealand rather than what's palatable to Telecom, Green Party Information Technology Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

"The Government has indicated that it intends to address the poor broadband situation in this country, and that has been widely welcomed.

"However there is some concern that we will see a repeat of last time - threats from Telecom coupled with last-minute sweeteners that result in more inaction. The current Communications Minster David Cunliffe has a real opportunity to demonstrate his effectiveness, and I sincerely hope he does so.

"Proposals like InternetNZ's are welcome in this debate. Some interested parties have been intent on confusing an issue that is already difficult for many people to understand. InternetNZ's proposals are a breath of fresh air, because they clearly lay out some options.

In particular, Nandor welcomes the fact that InternetNZ's proposals take the debate beyond Local Loop Unbundling.

"It seems obvious to me that the debate over Local Loop Unbundling has been won. Now it is the other parts of the reform package that we must focus on.

"InternetNZ talks about the need for stronger wholesale service options for resellers of Telecom's services, starting with an unconstrained UBS (unbundled bitstream service), and the need to split Telecom's wholesale business off from its retail business, either through a firewalled division, or a separate company. These comments are right on the money.

"Clearly, Local loop Unbundling will not in itself fix all the problems. It needs to be part of a more comprehensive package.

Proposals put forward on matters unrelated to the Local Loop Unbundling issue were also welcome.

"Local Loop Unbundling is an extremely important issue, and it is vital that the Government doesn't drop the ball. However, it's also important that securing New Zealand's digital future does not begin and end with this issue", Nandor says.


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