Nats to consider unbundling stance

The National Party is turning its attention to the question of unbundling the local phone loop. The party's leader, Don Brash, communications spokesman John Key and newly rehabilitated IT spokesman Maurice Williamson will be holding a policy meeting on the subject this week.

The National Party is turning its attention to the question of unbundling the local phone loop.

The party’s leader, Don Brash, communications spokesman John Key (pictured) and newly rehabilitated IT spokesman Maurice Williamson will be holding a policy meeting on the subject this week.

“There is a real range of views out there,” says Key. “We do know that we want a competitive market [in telecommunications], but we’re still to decide how we think that might best be achieved.”

He would not be drawn last week on his own views or how he thinks the discussion might pan out.

Telecommunications commissioner Douglas Webb may be brought in on the deliberations.

“After all, he’s done the work on it, and can explain how he reached his decisions.”

A firmer picture will probably emerge toward the end of the week, Key says. The main factor delaying the emergence of a formal policy has been the unavailability of Don Brash, owing to other demands on his time.

The party sees unbundling and the future course of telecommunications as “a pretty important issue”, Key says, “but it’s not something the person in the street is thinking of as very urgent”.

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