Government direction on broadband welcomed

Press Release – Local Government NZ

“We are pleased the Government has recognised that ultra-fast broadband development cannot be left up to the commercial sector,” said Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government New Zealand. The Government is proposing to establish a Crown-owned company …

Media Release
Government direction on broadband welcomed
For immediate release on 31 March 2009

“We are pleased the Government has recognised that ultra-fast broadband development cannot be left up to the commercial sector,” said Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government New Zealand.

The Government is proposing to establish a Crown-owned company to drive the government’s investment of $1.5 billion. This company will invest alongside private sector companies and councils to deliver regional broadband solutions.

“There are many places in New Zealand where high-speed broadband is not available and telecommunications companies have said they will not invest in those places that don’t fit with their commercial model.

“We welcome the Government’s plans to provide funding and alternative solutions for the 25 selected cities and towns.

“We would encourage the Government to work with some of the applicants for the previous Broadband Investment Fund that were offering up regional solutions. Many councils had put significant effort into developing proposals which may now fit with this new solution.

“However, there are issues within this proposal which we will be discussing with our members and the Government. We will ask the Government to clarify if this same approach will be used for the additional $48 million it has specified for broadband in rural areas. The rural areas tend to have the biggest market failure in broadband delivery.

“Our second area of concern is the Government’s plans to impose regulatory standards on the industry to reduce the cost of deployment. We have been working jointly with the industry on Broadband Friendly Protocols which help achieve the same outcome. We would be against any proposals which risk imposing a prescriptive national standard which is not acceptable for every community.

“We support the general direction of this proposal and will work through the detail for a submission before the 27 April deadline.” says Mr Yule.

ENDS

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