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Government move on Telecom welcomed

4 May 2006

Government move on Telecom welcomed

The Government's broadband policy package was welcomed by the Green Party today, who confirmed that they would vote to support the legislation needed to enact it.

"This is pretty much what we have been calling for over some time," said Greens ICT spokesperson Nandor Tanczos.

"I met with the Minister prior to the cabinet decision to assure him that the Greens would back him in regulating for local loop unbundling and some separation of Telecom's wholesale and retail arms. It's great that he has taken this step forward.

"If New Zealand is to move towards a sustainable economy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need a world class IT infrastructure. This decision will help us achieve that."

"Current prices aren't bad, but the real gains will be in lifted data caps and faster speeds. Even more important than faster download will be better upload speeds as a result of unconstrained bitstream and naked DSL. This will open wide the door for virtually free international calling through Voice Over Internet Protocols and for video-conferencing and other forms of interactive technologies. The ecological and economic benefits will be significant."

However, Nandor warned that to deliver the right prices, a regulated access price was needed.

"The price that Telecom's rivals face for shared line access would have to be set carefully - say at between $10 to $14 per customer. Set it too low and Telecom's rival will cherry pick the business. Too high, and few benefits will result.

"But all in all a very positive move. Nice one, David."

ENDS

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