Patterson slams Govt broadband interference

Last updated 10:22 10/12/2012

Relevant offers


Petroleum industry says interest to drill off Canterbury strong Residential Development Council aims to influence housing policy Airways remains cagey on what caused air traffic control failure Report highlights Cawthron Institute's scientific and economic success Maori Fisheries Trust cynically ignored in Kermadec plan, leaders say 'Record' cruise season kicks off but fears remain over border clearance levy Solid Energy proposes the closure of Huntly East mine Australian accounting body to pay costs in NZ defamation case NZ dollar rises above US66c, outperforms US after dairy auction Government off course in Kermadecs, says tuna fishing leader Charles Hufflett

Former telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson has accused the Government of "unprecedented" interference for threatening to legislate over a draft determination by his successor, Stephen Gale, on broadband pricing.

In an opinion published today, Patterson said that if the Government was considering "artificially increasing" the cost of copper-based broadband in a bid to increase the take up of the Crown-backed ultrafast broadband network, that policy was "doomed to failure".

The price of broadband could fall by about $12 a month in two years' time if internet providers pass on swinging cuts to Chorus' charges that were proposed a week ago in a draft ruling by the Commerce Commission.

But Prime Minister John Key immediately signalled that the Government was concerned about the effect cheaper copper-based broadband could have on the fibre-optic UFB network, in which the Government has agreed to invest $1.3 billion. He has not rule out using legislation to overturn the proposed price cut.

Key has said the commission's report posed problems for the rollout of UFB in that it would substantially reduce Chorus' income and its "capacity around broadband".

Patterson suggested that amounted to "undue political interference".

Patterson stood down as telecommunications commissioner in July after the Government chose not to reappoint him for a second five-year term. He is currently chairman of Akhet Consulting in Dubai.

Ad Feedback



Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content