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Internet Providers Welcome Broadband Decision

21 December 2005

Internet Providers Welcome Broadband Decision But Want More

The Internet Service Providers Association of New Zealand have announced they are pleased the Commerce Commission has "stuck to their guns" and delivered a final UBS determination before Christmas.

ISPANZ president David Diprose says the determination is a mix of good and bad news for internet providers and consumers.

"The final determination retains the uniform wholesale price, regardless of customer type or speed, so that's good; but the price, which doesn't include other costs for ISPs such as international bandwidth, is already higher than the ministers $1 a day target for broadband," he says.

ISPANZ also says it's a shame New Zealanders won't get faster broadband as a Christmas present - based on the determination full speed UBS broadband won't be available until mid 2006 at the earliest.

"Worse still, Telecom have indicated that they are likely to take the Commerce Commission to court over the determination," says Diprose.

While there is no doubt that this is a step forward, it is clear that regulated UBS broadband is still far from ideal, particularly with the upload speed artificially constrained to 128 kbps and download speeds that will slow to worse than dial-up during busy times.

This supports ISPANZ's recent lobbying efforts to get the government to implement a series of initiatives to progressively improve New Zealand's broadband uptake, by regulating to provide unconstrained UBS, naked DSL and local loop unbundling.

ISPANZ is promoting a broadband roadmap that will create an environment where competition occurs at a number of levels from multiple competitors. They believe that as a result:

* New Zealand's poor international ranking for broadband uptake will improve

* New Zealand businesses will be more competitive in the international market

* The average Kiwi will be able to benefit from lower prices and better services

* New Zealand as a country will reap the significant economic advantages of a broadband enabled society.

Details of the broadband roadmap can be viewed at www.ispanz.org.nz.

ENDS

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