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NZ First Welcomes Telecom Competition

Media Release


04 May 2006


NZ First Welcomes Telecom Competition


New Zealand First has welcomed the opening of Telecom's lines to competitors.

"The unbundling of the local loop has taken too long, but is a large and enabling step for New Zealand business, consumers and innovation," said New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

"In May 1998, New Zealand First instituted a review of the adequacy of competition in the telecommunications industry The Shipley government castled it then, and New Zealand has steadily slipped behind in the uptake of key technologies as a result.

"There is now broad agreement on the benefits of unbundling access to the local loop in order to create competition in local access. It is the key policy instrument needed to ensure competitive access to the individual consumer, the home worker and to business.

"Detailed and practical arrangements will need to be made to ensure non-discriminatory provision of access to the loop. The terms for access to the unbundled elements of the local loop must be cost-oriented, transparent and non-discriminatory.

"The Government must also ensure that this does not only deliver benefits to big city New Zealand, but that those same services reach all the way down to the country roads.

"The old saying 'it's better last than never' rings true here. It would appear that New Zealand's telecommunications industry is finally ready to step into the 21st century," Mr Peters said.


ENDS



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