A Kaitaia businessman is taking the telecommunications company Chorus to the Disputes Tribunal over connection fees he says are extortionate.
Ian Walker, who runs a large IT and online retail company, says Chorus charged him $7000 for a simple connection to its copper network, when he opened his new building last year.
"I had the cable in the building," he said.
"All they had to do was basically join the wires. The developer had put the cable through the road."
Mr Walker said the speed and bandwidth provided via the copper network were inadequate for business needs.
"We cannot operate properly. We have small businesses like plumbers and electricians who would like to use state-of the art-technology like Zero for their accounting package.
"But the broadband speeds are insufficient to actually connect to the Cloud."
Mr Walker said there was a fibre cable running right past his building - but he was not allowed to hook up to it.
"Only school and government departments have got access to it. And meanwhile Chorus is putting more and more rural customers onto the copper network and the speeds have gone down from 80 megs to 30 in the past two years. "
Mr Walker said Chorus was gouging rural customers as it wrung the last profits from a network that would soon be redundant.
"My son in west Auckland just bought a house and connected to fibre for $50.
"How come Chorus can rape and pillage the rural community by charging $7000 for a connection? I will be very interested to see how they justify that when we take it to the small claims court (now the Disputes Tribunal) in July. "