Happy New Year!
A few people have reported difficulties with getting telcos in NZ to connect (or reconnect) homes to the copper landline system.
Please note that if you want a copper-based phone and/or internet system, there is no good reason why a company should refuse to supply this service to you.
While the passing of the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill in November 2018 means that access to copper landline phone system is going to be phased out in the parts of NZ where fibre is available, copper landline services should still be available in most parts of NZ for some time yet.
The Commerce Commission has identified some parts of NZ as “specified fibre areas” from which access to the copper landline system will be withdrawn. (You can find out more about the “specified fibre areas” at the following link: https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/regulated-services/consumer-protections-for-copper-withdrawal/map-of-specified-fibre-areas )
However, the “copper withdrawal code” which is designed to protect consumers during the transition from copper to fibre has not yet been finalised. (A consultation has been scheduled on the copper withdrawal code for early 2020. Please see the following link for information on the copper withdrawal code: https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/163714/Copper-Withdrawal-Code-Process-Update-1-August-2019.PDF )
According to the Commerce Commission website, the “earliest Chorus can stop supplying these services [copper landline based phone services and internet (ADSL and VDSL broadband services – Ed)] is from mid-2020 and only in the areas where fibre is available to be installed in homes and once certain consumer protections are in place.” [emphasis added]
(The full media release from which the above text was quoted may be read at this link: https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/regulated-services/consumer-protections-for-copper-withdrawal/copper-withdrawal-code/timeline/commission-launches-consultations-on-safeguards-for-consumers-moving-from-copper-to-fibre-broadband.)
If you live in the countryside where there is no fibre, please note that you should be able to keep your copper landline. (See: https://saveourlandlines.nz/news/letter-from-the-hon-kris-faafoi-states-that-rural-landlines-are-safe/ )
The bottom line is that wherever you are in NZ at the moment (January 2020) you should be able to connect to the copper landline should you want to do this.
If your telco will not assist you to get a copper connection, especially if you live in an area where connecting to fibre is not an option, one possible reason for their refusal may be that the company would prefer that you have a wireless home phone system * (Please note that wireless home phone systems could expose YOU and your family to potential health risks as cordless phones may have similar brain cancer risks as mobile phones.)
Or, possibly, the company may want you to use a 4G-based broadband internet system* even though the more people who use 4G fixed wireless internet (or access the internet via their cell phones) the more cell phone towers have to be built. (The proliferation of cell phone towers is not good as there is evidence of health risks for people living in the vicinity. See: https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/07/05/biological-effects-of-living-near-a-cell-phone-tower/ )
If you live in an area where copper is going to be phased out, you can still have a safe hardwired phone and internet system:
If you live in a “specified fibre area” where copper is going to be phased out, you can still have a safe hardwired phone and internet system by connecting to the fibre network. The links below provide information to help you.
Please report any refusal of a telco to connect you to the copper network
Please don’t let telcos get away with refusing to supply basic services such as a connection to the copper phone network. You can report any refusal of a telco to provide you with a safe copper landline phone and/or internet system to us via the following link: https://saveourlandlines.nz/contact-us/ Thank you.
Ed note: In case you are wondering about the likely motivation for telcos to be pushing customers from safe hardwired services like copper to wireless home phone systems and wireless 4G based internet systems, one possible reason is that Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees each operate cellular phone infrastructure. By contrast the copper system is owned by Chorus and the fibre system is usually owned by Chorus or a “Local Fibre Company”. Under these circumstances it seems likely that telcos providing retail telecommunications services (like Spark,Vodafone and 2Degrees) would be able to make more money from providing a 4G based phone and/or internet service than they could from providing a phone or internet service via a safe hardwired connection.
Spark,Vodafone and 2Degrees are also the companies that are trying to foist an untested 5G system on NZ and they are now consequently being boycotted. (For more information about the boycott, including alternative telecommunications companies, please see this link: https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/08/23/boycott-5g/.)
Please join us
Your voice in defence of New Zealand’s copper landline network and your taking the time to help educate others about the importance of this important infrastructure would be most appreciated.
If you would like to help with the campaign you may contact us via our Contact Form which you can reach by clicking HERE.
We have a Facebook page that you are welcome to like and follow it is https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Landlines-NZ-1626155717464225/