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Copper Tax is Dead

28 NOVEMBER 2013

Copper Tax is Dead

The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing is asking the government to confirm urgently that it will not proceed with legislation that tries to over-rule or delay the implementation of the new fair prices for copper broadband and voice services, scheduled to come into force on 1 December 2014, as determined by the independent regulator, the Commerce Commission.

The coalition was responding to reports today that none of the government’s confidence & supply partners – the Maori Party, UnitedFuture or ACT New Zealand – would support legislation that over-ruled or delayed the implementation of the new fair prices.

The NZ First Party also announced today it would vote against any legislation that overruled or delayed the Commerce Commission’s ruling.

The Labour, Green and Mana parties are also on record as opposing any such legislation.

Independent MP Brendan Horan and the Conservative Party have also confirmed to the coalition they oppose legislation to over-rule or delay the Commerce Commission’s price ruling.

A spokeswoman for the coalition, Sue Chetwin, said today’s announcements made clear that an attempt to over-rule or delay the new fair prices could not be successful.

“In the interests of regulatory certainty and business stability, the best thing now is for Prime Minister John Key and Communications & IT Minister Amy Adams to confirm urgently that they will not proceed with any of the regulatory proposals outlined in August’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) discussion document, which purported to be a review of the Telecommunications Act 2001,” she said.

The legality of the discussion document and its associated consultation process is also subject to litigation, likely to be heard in the High Court in Wellington next year.

“The copper tax does not have sufficient support to proceed, creating space for the government to now focus on the real issues in the telecommunications sector, especially the roll-out of the all-important ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network,” Ms Chetwin concluded.


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