The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“The Government is about to spend an extra $150 million on a programme that isn’t working. The RBI could prove to be one of the most misguided spends of this National Government.
New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.
“In an apparent attempt to appease everyone, the Commission’s decision is a victory for the status quo.
The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“After one by-election poll showed they were in trouble, National panicked and threw $70 million of taxpayers’ money at 10 bridges – most of which weren't even listed as priorities in the local Council's transport plan.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today admitted no progress has been made towards his Northland by-election bribe of 10 new bridges and could only say they would be funded sometime in the next six years, Labour's transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“This is yet more proof – if any was needed – that the Bridges of Northland were an act of pure electoral cynicism by the National Party.
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.
Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Rural New Zealanders and InternetNZ have expressed strong concerns that the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) isn’t delivering quality internet and has connected very few households.
Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.
“Our economy can no longer rely on the wisdom and management of Crown-owned companies based outside our region that have a history of mistakes and failure.
National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said
“The Telecommunications Development Levy Amendment Bill that is being rushed through under urgency today will force the telco industry to hike broadband prices.