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National finally wakes up to rural broadband issues


ICT Spokesperson

26 August 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
National finally wakes up to rural broadband issues

Amy Adams must guarantee that the new fund announced today will be truly contestable and not just a slush fund for large telcos or a continuation of the existing failed Rural Broadband Initiative, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Today’s new fund is an admission that the RBI has failed and under-shot the ambitions of New Zealanders.

“Broadband connections in rural New Zealand are poor by world standards. New Zealand needs the best rural broadband possible because of the importance of primary production.

“It appears that the National may have woken up to the importance of community solutions – a solution that Labour has already embraced.

“This fund must be genuinely contestable and not a repeat of previous mistakes such as ultra-fast broadband where their conventional thinking resulted in relying on a big incumbent to deliver the best solutions for its bottom lines rather than for communities.

“That’s why John Key has attempted to paper over the cracks with today’s extra $150 million being thrown at the project.

“If this turns out anything like the ultra-fast broadband project, it will simply result in more money for telecommunications companies with no real difference to rural communities for years to come,” says Clare Curran.

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