Chamber of Commerce defends unbundling survey

The chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, stands by his organisation's survey that found most members support the call for unbundling.

The chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, stands by his organisation’s survey that found most members support the call for unbundling.

Telecom claims the survey is full of leading questions that could only result in the appearance of a need for unbundling but Barnett says the chamber worked hard to avoid any such impropriety.

“We commissioned Colmar Brunton to undertake the survey precisely for this reason.”

Barnett says he is “comfortable” with the question format and says Colmar Brunton staff suggested the approach.

“Unbundling’s not an issue that many people are up to date with so it was important to explain the various issues in some detail before asking the question.”

The survey, of 400 chamber members, says 93% of respondents would be more likely to use more telecommunications services if they were better priced and marketed; 94% believe a range of companies offering different phone, data and high-speed internet services will be better for their business; and more than 95% believe the Auckland economy will be better off having a choice of suppliers of phone, data and high-speed internet services.

Barnett says he was very surprised by the results. "And that really validates the whole survey process."

He says he wanted to ask his members' opinions before claiming to represent them on the issue which is why the chamber commissioned the survey.

"We didn't want to just say 'this is what our members think' without finding out first."

Barnett hopes to present the findings to the Minister of Communications, Paul Swain.

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