23 Jun 2011

Broadband rollout law passes

6:05 pm on 23 June 2011

Parliament has passed the legislation setting up the framework for the rollout of ultra fast broadband.

Telecom won the right to build the most of the country's fibre optic network, with the rest of the work being carried out by three smaller companies.

Under the original legislation, the four companies' wholesale prices would not have been subject to Commerce Commission regulation but under widespread pressure, the Government backed down.

It argues the deal is good for consumers and taxpayers, with much of the upfront cost being borne by the private partners.

Labour and the Greens opposed the bill on the grounds it gives Telecom a dominant market position, and so will make the new fibre network unaffordable for many people.

The bill passed with support from the Maori Party, and two of the ACT Party's five MPs.