Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


No guarantee of major broadband agreements before election

7 December 2010 Media Statement
No guarantee of major broadband agreements before election

After two years in office National is still drip-feeding the public information about its ultrafast broadband scheme, with no indication who the major players will be and when those decisions will be made, says Labour’s Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Despite announcing two regional agreements today to deliver fibre in Northland and the Central North Island, Communications Minister Steven Joyce was unable to guarantee that the remaining 25 ultrafast broadband agreements could be finalised before next year’s election,” Clare Curran said.

“After announcing wholesale access prices of between $40 and $60 a month for connections to fibre to the home, Mr Joyce said he wouldn’t be making public details of how those prices were arrived at in negotiation with partner companies.

“I understand these prices are akin to the fee charged to customers by an electricity lines company. On top of this wholesale price there will be a yet to be disclosed retail price. It is as yet unknown whether most New Zealanders, despite having access to ultrafast broadband, will be able to afford to connect to it.

“Instead of being transparent about the method used to calculate a wholesale price for fibre, which is funded by $1.5 billion of taxpayer money, Steven Joyce plans to legislate to provide partner companies with a 10 year period free from regulation from the Commerce Commission,” Clare Curran said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Today’s announcement of two ultrafast broadband partners sheds no light on the bigger issue of who will win the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch rollouts.

“The government will introduce legislation this week that significantly signals it will introduce amendments to enable the structural separation of Telecom if Telecom is chosen as a preferred supplier under the UFB initiative. This is very concerning and appears to be putting the cart before the horse for legislation which could be rushed through without proper time for public discussion and scrutiny.

“It’s taken the Government two years to come up with this Bill following a policy slogan at the last election,” Clare Curran said. “They’ve made no major decisions yet about who will roll out fibre, there is still no fibre in the ground and the role of Telecom in the rollout is the still the biggest issue. The Government needs to reveal its whole plan and give some certainty to the industry.”


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Smokefree Laws Debacle

The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out - for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable view is that the government was being deliberately misleading. Are we to think Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is a fool, or a liar? It seems rather early on in his term of office to be facing that unpleasant choice. Yet when Luxon (and senior MP Chris Bishop) tried to defend the indefensible with the same wildly inaccurate claim, there are not a lot of positive explanations left on the table.... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.