29 Jun 2010

Govt may amend fast broadband controls

3:11 pm on 29 June 2010

The Government is looking at possible changes to the strict controls on its planned ultra-fast broadband network.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce says 18 companies are interested in taking part in the new $1.5 billion fibre network.

Mr Joyce says some have questioned the regulation of the network, including price controls by the Commerce Commission.

He says he's considering amending some of the rules, but an open-access principle will remain in order to foster competition.

Mr Joyce says prospective partners will be asked to refine and resubmit their proposals.

The successful companies will be announced by October.

The $500 million rural broadband initiative has received 39 expressions of interest and the Government expects to start allocating funding to successful bidders before the end of the year.