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Action on UFB barriers better late than never

Several years of warnings and pleas to free up the barriers to connecting households and businesses to ultrafast broadband has finally prompted some action from the Government, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“The release of an MBIE discussion document on options for improving land access for telecommunications should hasten complex fibre installs and is good news for the thousands of frustrated New Zealanders who want fibre but can’t get it.

“However this is something that should have been sorted out several years ago when the UFB scheme was developed. Once again we are seeing Minister Amy Adams, who has sat on her hands until now, scrambling to carry the can for the bungles of Steven Joyce who botched the roll out plan at the onset.

“Labour pledged during last year’s election campaign to act immediately to change the law to enable faster access. We are willing to work with the Government to remove unnecessary barriers to the UFB rollout as long as any changes do not overly impinge upon the rights of home owners and there are robust mechanisms in place to resolve disputes. 

“The discussion paper has a short response time and Labour wants to ensure everyone has the opportunity to respond, but broadly the industry and the community are desperate for these roadblocks to be addressed.

“Let’s not wait too much longer to get it sorted,” Clare Curran says.