Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Copper Decision: Kiwis Gain Half a Billion Dollars




Copper Decision: Kiwis Gain Half a Billion Dollars

Kiwi households and businesses will pay $104 million a year less for copper broadband and voice services from December 2014 as a result of this morning’s decision by independent regulator the Commerce Commission, the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing said today.

The total gain through to the end of 2019 is an estimated $522 million.

The Commission announced this morning that the fair price for copper broadband and voice services was $34.44 per line per month, down 23% from the current $44.98. The Commission’s decision was made under rules legislated for by Steven Joyce in 2011.

“This is a fantastic early Christmas present from the Commerce Commission, which, from next November, will give Kiwi households and businesses over $100 million a year more to be pumped back into the economy through everything from new school shoes for the kids to new technologies to help companies become more productive,” a spokesman for the coalition, Paul Brislen, also chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), said today.

“Our view is that the Commerce Commission has applied Steven Joyce’s 2011 telecommunications legislation correctly and, at $34.44 per month, has come up with a fair price.”

Mr Brislen urged the government to let the benefits of the Commerce Commission ruling flow through to Kiwi households and businesses.

“Any price the government might now propose above $34.44 per month would represent an obvious tax on Kiwi households and businesses in order to subsidise Chorus, an already highly profitable monopolist. Even $35.50 would transfer over a million dollars a month from Kiwi households and businesses to Chorus shareholders, to no benefit to anyone else.”

Mr Brislen said any suggestion today’s price decision could have an impact on the rollout of the government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative (UFB) was “plain wrong”.

“The government has contracts with Chorus and others to build the new world-class fibre broadband network. Ministers should tell them to just get on and do it.

“The 30% of New Zealanders who are expected to want UFB by 2020 and the 75% of Kiwis who will eventually have access to it want it built to contract, while those who will never access to it obviously don’t want to pay a copper tax,” he said.

Mr Brislen said it would be wrong for there to be further confidential calls between Chorus chair Sue Sheldon and the prime minister on the matter.

“There must be transparency in the dealings between regulated monopolists and the government.”

The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing was founded by Consumer NZ, InternetNZ, and the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and is supported by CallPlus and Slingshot, the Federation of Maori Authorities, Greypower, Hautaki Trust, KiwiBlog, KLR Holdings, National Urban Maori Authorities, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Orcon, Rural Women, Te Huarahi Tika Trust and the Unite Union.

A Covec study for the coalition, which has been peer reviewed by Network Strategies and found to be conservative, concluded that the government’s proposed copper tax would cost Kiwi households and businesses between $390 million and $449 million between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019 over the price for copper broadband and voice services that Commerce Commission work indicates is fair. More recent demands by Chorus would take this cost to Kiwi households and businesses to $979 million.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news