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A faster more competitive broadband future

29 May 2008

A faster more competitive broadband future

Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe says that the Government’s Broadband Investment Fund will bring more broadband to users faster than alternative approaches.

“Over the next five years the government will spend more than $500 million rolling out fast broadband across New Zealand. A similar sized investment is expected in the second five years, taking the total potential investment in fast broadband to over $1 billion.

“The Government’s Broadband Investment Fund will be available much faster than National’s. Proposals for the Fund will be called for shortly and will be assessed as soon as possible. We are consulting with industry on streamlining this process.

“National want a year from an election to "develop detailed policy". Any legislation resulting from this would add another year. Under National it’s potentially two years of nothing. This government is committed to rolling out fast broadband now.

“Our broadband package promotes the best fit between the best available technology and the needs of users in the region concerned. This model provides better value for taxpayers, encourages more service providers into the market and drives competition.”

Unlike National, the government’s plan does not require new legislation, will not risk a new dominance over fibre, and importantly, does not adopt a prescriptive solution in a dynamic industry.

“Our initiative provides a ‘base’ component throughout urban centres and suburbs that all operators will have access to, and offers fibre, wireless and DSL connections to end-users at a significantly reduced cost.

“A critical aspect of the Broadband Investment Fund is that it offers grants to private sector investors rather than taking an equity stake in any organisation. As the government does not require any return, we are in a strong position to determine which providers and projects to support.

“The government has committed to promoting solutions that take into account local characteristics and support competition across a range of technologies.

“Adopting a heavy-handed nationwide solution inevitably favours the incumbent and would put any government in an extremely weak bargaining position.”

ENDS

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