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Name The Date, Mr Joyce

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Name The Date, Mr Joyce

It's taken National nine months to come up with a proposal that looks remarkably like Labour's pre-election programme for delivering ultrafast broadband, Labour Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

"Labour welcomes today's urban broadband announcement to deliver ultrafast broadband to 75% of New Zealanders, provided it's truly a move away from a monopoly, Telco-centric infrastructure approach," Clare Curran said.

"On the face of it, National's proposal appears to promote an open access, dark fibre driven and regionally-based approach which Labour has long campaigned for.

"If that is the case we broadly support it. But we'll be vigilant to ensure the reality matches the promise.

"Labour has serious concerns about the length of time it has taken the Government to determine the shape of its proposal, let alone announce a timetable for its rollout.

"It's been nearly a year since the election, but we still have no firm timetable for the start date for broadband rollout and no firm details on the commercial rate of return to the government.

"If there could be different rates of return to the government for investment delivered in Greymouth to that delivered in Auckland or other major urban centres, it's important for investors to know what those rates will be and the timeframe for delivery.

"We also ask why the Government thinks price regulation is not a necessary step to take, should aspects of the new network become monopolised.

"And, in the light of the recent Australian split up of Telstra, the Government needs to clarify whether Telecom should structurally separate Chorus to bid for a national rollout of the fibre plan.

"Communications Minister Steven Joyce also appears disinterested in whether, in light of the Telecom contractor dispute, Telecom can fulfil all of its current service obligations to customers while carrying out a significant proportion of the additional broadband roll out New Zealand urgently requires.

"Labour had a regionally focused, fully funded programme ready to go called the Broadband Investment Fund. This was axed by National in order to develop a new model which looks remarkably similar. And it's taken them nearly a year to get to the point of admitting Labour had it right all along.

"We look forward to more detail and timeline of when broadband will actually begin rolling out. It's time to get on with it," Clare Curran said.

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