Labour anger at Telecom's monopoly stranglehold

Labour's telecommunications spokesperson Marion Hobbs says Telecom's latest move is further evidence of ongoing abuse of its monopoly position. 'Telecom has been quoted as saying this latest move is necessary because of a forecast shortage in network capacity. I am stunned by that. What in God's name have they been doing?'

Labour's telecommunications spokesperson Marion Hobbs says Telecom's latest move is further evidence of ongoing abuse of its monopoly position.

"Telecom is in effect holding the development of New Zealand's e-commerce structure to ransom," says Hobbs.

"Telecom has been quoted as saying this latest move is necessary because of a forecast shortage in network capacity. I am stunned by that. What in God's name have they been doing?" Hobbs says government must look not only at the cost of telecommunications but the service as well.

"Clear criticised the intelligence of Telecom's network and made submissions [to the Commerce Commission] that the network needs substantial upgrading," she says.

"These people are preventing IT development and growth in this country by their control of the infrastructure." Hobbs says a Labour government would strengthen the laws surrounding the Commerce Commission and give it wider powers to ensure Telecom, and other companies like it, can't abuse a monopoly position.

"They've got us by the short and curlies and we have to stop that. It's about monopoly price setting and control."

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