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NZRFG welcomes changes to UFB

Media release
1 July 2010

NZRFG welcomes changes to UFB

The New Zealand Regional Fibre Group welcomes the Government’s UFB Model Amendments announced this morning.

“NZRFG has long held the view that open access, wholesale Layer 2 services are necessary to drive competition and innovation from service providers to lift New Zealand’s productivity and international competitiveness,” says NZRFG CEO Vaughan Baker.

Mr Baker says while he supports the promotion of open-access wholesale Layer 2 services, he needs to see the detail of UFB amendments - yet to be released - to fully ascertain the implications for NZRFG members engaged in the UFB process.

“I hope the detail will give us a clear indication of the framework to work with and that the amendments will provide the best national solution,” says Mr Baker.

“It is our view that Layer One services will only be required by some businesses and government customers.”

“Unlike many incumbent telecommunications providers, we have consistently advocated and welcome the challenges and opportunities this new world of fibre and its associated business models provides. We will continue to work towards achieving the UFB policy outcomes as long as it makes commercial sense.”

Mr Baker has also endorsed the prospect of regulatory certainty outlined in the Amendments.

“We welcome the clarity the Government has indicated around the likely regulatory regime for the UFB and believe it should provide the necessary investor certainty required to make the UFB initiative work. We are comfortable with that.”

Mr Baker says the NZRFG is continuing to work with Crown Fibre Holdings to meet the UFB deadlines, something he is confident of achieving.

“We trust that the Government will continue to stick to the process already underway,” says Mr Baker.

New Zealand Regional Fibre Group

Editors Notes:
The NZRFG is a group of regional operators including lines companies and local fibre companies, which has come together to support the Government’s efforts to introduce ultra-fast broadband to New Zealand. Members include Alpine Energy, Aurora Energy, CityLink, Counties Power, Eastland Group, Electra, Electricity Ashburton, Enable Networks Ltd, Horizon Energy, Network Tasman, Network Waitaki, Northpower, PowerNet, Unison, Vector, Velocity, Waipa Networks, WEL Networks and Westpower.

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