May 1, 2018, Save Our Landlines NZ.
Kiwis Alarmed at Govt. Proposal to Destroy Landline Infrastructure
Many New Zealanders are irate at the government’s plans to scuttle much of the country’s landline copper wired infrastructure, citing serious irreversible safety concerns.
Kiwis made submissions on the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill to let the government know that the destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline infrastructure proposed in the bill is unacceptable.
The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill began its life under the past National-led government and passed its first reading in Parliament in August 2017.
A preliminary analysis of submissions on the bill by volunteers working on the Save Our Landlines NZ campaign shows that the vast majority of individuals who made submissions on the bill are virtually unanimous in their desire to preserve New Zealand’s copper landline telephone network.
A common theme among submissions from individuals was how a corded phone connected to the copper landline network would still work even if a home lost power and could therefore provide vital access to emergency services.
One New Zealander who lived in Christchurch during the worst of the earthquakes noted how the copper landline network in their area had continued to function despite the disaster, providing a vital way to keep in touch with emergency services, friends and relatives despite widespread power outages and damage to roads that made driving almost impossible.
The importance of landline phones to elderly people was also noted, especially because corded phones offer much better voice quality than either cellular or “Voice Over Internet Protocol” (VOIP) phones.
Many people also pointed out that corded landline phones provide a safe alternative to cellular phones and are particularly important for households with children given that long term use of cellular phones has been associated with increased risk of brain tumours.
These public concerns echoed the warnings of New Zealand and international scientists who have advised the government about the growing body of research linking wireless technologies to a variety of adverse health outcomes, including increased risk of cancer, and recommended that wired alternatives such as the copper landline system be retained.
The closing date for submissions on the bill was February 2, 2018 and the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Parliamentary Select Committee is due to report back to Parliament on the bill on May 4.
Save Our Landlines NZ urges readers of this article to lobby their MP on an urgent basis to retain our national landline infrastructure, especially now in light of increased earthquake activity worldwide.
Update: On May 5, 2018, and subsequently the select committee staff posted more submissions on the website. There are now more than 300 submissions. Submissions from the public remain overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the copper landline network.
Submissions on the bill may be read at the following link: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74818/tab/submissionsandadvice
Background information on the bill and the submissions process may be read at this link: https://saveourlandlines.nz/uncategorized/telecommunications-new-regulatory-framework-amendment-bill-threatens-future-of-landlines/
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.
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This cannot happen as – when power outages occur, which they do and will do more frequently, we are left without phones and – if our mobiles aren’t charged up, no way of communicating with the outside world. It was quite alarming this last bad outage when we realiised how much we rely on not only electricity, but the landline phones as well. This CANNOT happen !