6 Apr 2011

TelstraClear ramps ups broadband rollout criticism

1:20 pm on 6 April 2011

One of New Zealand's biggest telecommunications companies is stepping up its criticism of the way the Government is setting up ultra-fast broadband.

The Government will spend up to $1.5 billion rolling out fibre-optic cabling to three-quarters of homes by 2019.

TelstraClear has put a two-page advertisement in the New Zealand Herald, the country's biggest daily newspaper, picturing a rugby scrum and a referee standing nearby who has been bound with rope and gagged with masking tape.

TelstraClear chief executive Allan Freeth says he supports fibre to the home, but is worried about the way the governments Telecommunications Amendment Bill removes the Commerce Commission's ability to regulate the new network for 10 years.

Dr Freeth describes it as a regulatory holiday, and says it is unhealthy because it is anti-competitive, and will result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers using the new fibre network.