A vote for the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill is a vote for the destruction of much of NZ’s copper landline phone system
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/ )