The government needs to demand Chorus ensures a decent standard of service for its customers rather than “letting it get away with” cutting spending to please its shareholders and cover the holes in its ultra-fast broadband roll-out contract.
That’s the damning view of Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran, who believes following news that Chorus has slashed spending on the copper network by almost a third, “it’s time for the minister to haul in Chorus executives for a ‘please explain’”.
“Chorus’s half yearly financial statement shows the company will cut spending from $21 million to $15 million on the network, which the vast majority of its customers are on,” Curran adds.
“Many of those customers are venting their anger at poor speeds and outages. It’s already a poor service and looks set to get worse.”
As covered by Computerworld New Zealand, Chorus reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $64 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $321 million for the six months ended 31 December 2014.
Operating revenue for the period was $527 million and operating expenses were $206 million while depreciation and amortisation for the period was $159 million, delivering earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $162m.
“At the same time Chorus says prices for copper broadband should go back up to pre-2011 levels,” Curran adds.
“That is totally unjustifiable and would push the cost of the internet up for everyone.”