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Spectrum deal stifles creativity and competition

Clare Curran
ICT Spokesperson

30 May 2014

Spectrum deal stifles creativity and competition

It is regretful that Telecom has been cleared to buy the final lot of 700 megahertz radio spectrum, flagged for fourth-generation mobile use, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“The Government could have held back the remaining block of spectrum for later allocation and to provide room for further innovation and creativity in the mobile market.

“Unfortunately that window of opportunity is now closed and all spectrum is allocated with one player Telecom, gaining the larger market share.

“The only clear winners are Telecom and in the short term the Government, which secured a slightly higher price for the remaining spectrum block than it had for the previous auction.

“Back in November I wrote to the Telecommunications Commissioner asking to consider the competition implications of allowing Telecom to become the dominant owner of the 4G spectrum.

“New Zealand is a small country. Our competitive environment in telecommunication markets is not guaranteed. The Commissioner’s role is critical to ensure that affordable services are provided to consumers and that one player does not dominate the mobile and fixed telecommunication markets.

“Labour agrees with the industry perspective that the regulator should consider a broader range of users in markets beyond simply telecommunications.”

ENDS

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