New Zealanders can look forward to faster, better broadband Internet services thanks to the comprehensive telecommunications package announced today.
Communications Minister David Cunliffe says the package is a vital part of the Government's drive to transform the economy and push New Zealand's broadband performance into the top quarter of the OECD.
"Access to fast, competitively priced broadband Internet is vital for New Zealand to take full advantage of new technologies," Mr Cunliffe said. "This package will help ensure we catch up and keep up with other developed countries."
Today's package includes:
- Requiring the unbundling of the local loop and sub-loop copper-wire lines between telephone exchanges and homes and businesses, allowing other Internet Service Providers to compete fully with Telecom to provide faster, cheaper broadband.
- Regulatory action such as information disclosure, accounting separation of Telecom's business operations and an enhanced Commerce Commission monitoring role in order to ensure improved competition.
- Removing constraints on the existing regulated Unbundled Bitstream Service to ensure ISPs can offer better and cheaper broadband at upload speeds faster than 128kps.
- Encouraging investment in alternative infrastructure such as fibre, wireless and satellite networks by measures including a review of public sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure to encourage a whole-of-government approach; reviewing whether Telecom’s ability to reduce local prices solely in response to new competing infrastructure investment should be constrained; developing a rural package and expansion of the Digital Strategy Broadband Challenge fund.
"We are continuing to look at whether additional measures are warranted, such as the structural separation of Telecom's retail and lines operations," Mr Cunliffe said.