Consumers in rural and regional New Zealand are the biggest losers in today’s Commerce Commission decision to hike copper phone line prices, Labour’s ICT spokesperson David Parker says.
“Today’s shock announcement of a 10 per cent increase in the regulated wholesale copper phone line price will cost all households – particularly in areas where they are still waiting for ultra-fast broadband.
Cut-price contractor Visionstream is trying to bring in offshore workers for the UFB fibre roll-out while at the same time workers doing the same job are being cut at Downer, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Visionstream’s contract for the UFB roll-out is being expanded into Wellington. Instead of looking for local workers they are applying for the right to bring in workers from offshore so they can pay them low rates.
The Associate Transport Minister should rethink his complacent attitude towards the Transport Accident Investigation Commission’s botched handling of the Fox Glacier crash ahead of his meeting with its Chief Commissioner tomorrow, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“In the wake of a review revealing epic bungling by the TAIC, it is not good enough for Craig Foss to meekly accept the advice of Hellen Cull. The Chief Commissioner thinks the public should move on because the Commission ‘has done everything appropriately’.
Consistent underfunding of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission by the National Government led to an agency under-resourced to adequately handle the inquiry into the Fox Glacier crash, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“This lack of funding undermined the Commission’s ability to do its job properly. TAIC has admitted under-resourcing led to mistakes in its investigation of the 2010 accident which killed nine people.
The latest MYOB Business Monitor which shows just 40 per cent of businesses are happy with their internet service only touches the surface of regional dissatisfaction, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“According to MYOB satisfaction with internet service has fallen from 49 per cent to 40 per cent. That’s a big drop. Business technology is improving at a far quicker pace than National’s broadband roll-out, especially in the regions. This has caused dissatisfaction in regional businesses according to council surveys.
A 55km Cable to Nowhere has been laid between Wairoa and Tuai to apparently serve just one company, while in many other regions there is limited rural internet access, says Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Genesis Energy has been the sole recipient of an incredibly long length of fibre. It is especially concerning when the local school at Tuai has been unable to qualify for funding to get the software to make use of the new bandwidth even if it had the money to get connected.
Amy Adams must start an independent technical audit of the delivery outcomes on the Government’s $300m rural broadband scheme after the Minister sacked the ministry responsible for its management, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Amy Adams is desperately trying to contain the growing fallout from her government’s mismanagement of rural broadband. She has sacked MBIE from the job and handed control of the next tranche of government funding to Crown Fibre Holdings.
New Zealand’s tech sector faces an uncertain future if a hard-fought for exclusion for software patents is missing from the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.
“Labour and the tech sector fought long and hard to convince the government to accept that software should not be subject to patents as it stifles innovation and creativity in a fast-moving sector which spans many industries.
Regional ratepayers will have to stump up as co-investors in hundreds of towns and communities to subsidise improved broadband access, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.
“Despite calling for expressions of interest in March from all local authorities to access a new pool of funding to improve substandard internet connections, the government last week quietly changed the rules for how the money will be allocated.