Open letter to New Zealand Members of Parliament
The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill was reported back to the House on May 4 and is now awaiting its second reading.
This letter is to draw to your attention the fact that part of this bill is designed to allow a phase out of the copper landline infrastructure through much of New Zealand.*
New Zealand’s copper landline infrastructure has been built up over many decades and provides a vital lifeline in the event of emergencies because a corded phone connected to this system will function even when a house has lost power.
Submissions from members of the public received by the EDSI select committee in response to this bill were overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal to deprive most New Zealanders of the choice to be able to have a safe corded phone and inexpensive hardwired internet via the copper landline system. (See: https://saveourlandlines.nz/news/kiwis-alarmed-at-govt-proposal-to-destroy-landline-infrastructure/)
These submissions were essentially ignored by the committee.
The committee was presented with evidence that at least one major Telco operating in NZ (Spark) has signaled its intention to move internet customers who are considered to be low data users from the copper landline system to wireless internet – even in areas where fibre is available. (See: https://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/609604/spark-abandon-copper-fibre-wireless-broadband/ )
Such a policy would deprive many ordinary New Zealanders of the ability to have a safe, hardwired internet connection.
The committee chose to ignore this fact.
The committee also chose to ignore evidence provided by Dr. Mary Redmayne.
Dr Redmayne’s area of expertise is electromagnetic radiation and health.
She informed the committee about how New Zealand’s National Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF) and NZS 2772.1:1999 provide only very limited protection (from electric shocks and burns) rather than comprehensive health protection. (See: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/submissions-and-advice/document/52SCED_EVI_74818_1091/dr-mary-redmayne-supp-4)
NB: Dr.Mary Redmayne’s other submissions are listed at the end of the letter.
The fact is that if more and more New Zealanders are forced to use wireless internet (or phones) because the copper landline system is not available in their area, this will result in an increase in cellular phone towers. This is not a benign outcome as residence close to cellular phone infrastructure is associated with increased cancer risk. (See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680 )
Proliferation of wireless infrastructure has also been documented to have adverse effects on wildlife, as a meticulously conducted study from Australia documents.
(Please see this link for a summary https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2017/12/14/pulsed-microwaves-drive-wildlife-from-nsw-world-heritage-park/ and this link https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Mt-Nardi-Wildlife-Report-to-UNESCO-FINAL.pdf for the full scientific report.)
I hope you will act to protect New Zealander’s health and the environment by protecting the copper landline system that allows safe phone and internet access.
The copper landline system that we have is important national infrastructure and if it is allowed to destroyed in a piecemeal fashion, as is allowed by this bill, it is unlikely to ever be rebuilt.
I hope that I can count on you to vote against the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill.
I look forwarding to hearing from you soon.
Save Our Landlines NZ
Would you like to email your MP?
NB: If you would like to support this letter by emailing your own MP, you can find his or her contact details at the website below:
Link to Clause of the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework Bill) that threatens the copper landline phone system
*clause 69AA and sub clauses of the bill allows for copper to be withdrawn from parts of New Zealand that have been designated as “fibre areas”.
Links where submissions from Dr. Mary Redmayne, whose area of expertise is electromagnetic radiation and health may be accessed:
Supplementary submission 1
Supplementary submission 2
Supplementary submission 3
About Save Our Landlines NZ:
This website is being developed by New Zealanders who want to see the copper landline network in NZ to be retained and protected. If you value having a corded landline phone that will work even if you home (and the area in which you live) loses electricity, you are very welcome to join us.
To get updates on this issue, please follow our Facebook page at the link below:
If you would like to help in any way with the campaign to save NZ’s copper landline network, please email us through the contact form below.