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Cheaper, faster broadband good news

Cheaper, faster broadband good news for communities

For immediate release 4 May 2006

Local Government New Zealand’s President Basil Morrison says cheaper and faster internet access will be just two of the benefits delivered to communities following the decision to open access to the copper network.

“In real terms, the law changes surrounding access to the local loop, announced yesterday by the Government, will create more competition amongst providers, resulting in greater benefits for end users. Up until now, those people living outside the metropolitan centres have had very limited access to broadband technology. In many places, access to the internet is virtually non-existent. Our rural communities, in particular, will benefit greatly by this decision.

This announcement strengthens the case for the Digital Strategy Broadband Challenge which has been derived to enable the roll-out of affordable, faster broadband to regional centres based on competitive open access principles. It also supports innovative ways of making broadband available to smaller communities.

Local Government New Zealand believes open access should lead to a larger number of community broadband projects being undertaken, resulting in better broadband services in more communities.

“We have seen the positive results in the past when a competitor enters the market, for example when Telstra Clear entered the communications network and when Vodafone became a player in the mobile phone business. At the end of the day, it’s about giving the consumer choices and being in the business of meeting the needs of the end user.”

Local Government New Zealand looks forward to seeing the detail of this decision and determining exactly what it means for both councils and communities.

ENDS

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