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InternetNZ welcomes Rural Broadband proposals

Media Release - 29 September 2009 - InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is pleased with today’s announcement by Steven Joyce of the details for how the Government will invest $300m in rural broadband.

InternetNZ is in agreement with the high-level principles articulated in both the ‘Rural Broadband’ and ‘TSO Reform & Funding’ proposals, issued today for public comment.

The Ministry of Economic Development proposals outline in detail how the Government will follow through on its Rural Broadband Initiative.

They include reform of the Local Service TSO and improving rural telecommunications and broadband infrastructure via a combination of direct funding and subsidies from industry. A dedicated ‘Telecommunications Development Levy’ will also be introduced.

InternetNZ spokesperson Jordan Carter says this twin-pronged approach of regulatory reform and significant funding of infrastructure should address the current lack of broadband investment in rural areas.

“Considerations concerning the future of the TSO will have a direct impact on the provision of rural broadband, and the proposals both appear likely to stimulate rural use of broadband.

“Direct funding is vital to achieve rollout of the desired infrastructure and so the fact the Government will make $300m available is welcome. However the degree to which the funds proposed for rural broadband investment will come from other telecommunications service providers needs to be carefully scrutinised.

“The existing TSO has become a disincentive for some new entrants in rural areas and we are pleased that it will be reformed.

“As always, the devil is in the detail, and InternetNZ will thoroughly analyse both proposals before providing its submissions.”

For more information contact:

Jordan Carter
04 495 2118 or 021 442 649

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