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The NZ Maori Party views on telecommunications

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Jun-2006 11:35

If you live in New Zealand, or are interested in some telecommunications policy-making, you should read this pronouncement...

"What this means in effect is that the Bill is sending a strong public policy signal to Telecom and to Vodafone that they will be subject to a greater degree of government regulation."


"Hautaki, Saturn, Econet Wireless ltd, ACN, Kwiknet, netsurf, splurge, surfnet, slingshot, supra networks, actrix, raide internet, clear and Telstraclear, wave, ihug, woosh, xtra, paradise, wireless country….and that’s probably just a start."


Saturn? Econet?  "clear and Telstraclear"? xtra? He mixed old stuff, Telecom companies, stuff that is not even in the air yet..

"Why does it cost exactly the same in real terms to make a voice call from my office here in Parliament to my Wellington home- as it does to make a call to my home in Ngongotaha -that’s Rotorua for those who don’t know- and yet I am being charged extra, relative to the physical distance (and yet there is no electronic distance involved). The ability to be well-connected now means far more than the quality of your social networks, as perhaps it did in previous generations."


Because of the Government imposed Kiwi Share?

"People living in Pasifika families have the lowest levels of telephone and internet access in the home (88 and 16 percent respectively) followed closely by people living in Maori families (92 and 28 percent)."


Could that be because these segments are the ones in the lower income bracket?

"Sole parent families are half as likely as two parent families to have internet access (25% compared to 50 percent)."


Could it be because Internet is not the priority, and feeding the family is?

"This is particularly urgent for tangata whenua, as our Maori spectrum interests are associated with mobile. Until the mobile issues are sorted, tangata whenua access to the tele-communications industry and the three billion dollar mobile market is restricted."


Could it be because the spectrum is being "used" by Econet, with no outcome or service yet? If you don't know, Econet is planning to build a third cellular network in New Zealand. The company is owned by Zimbabwe-based Econet, and managed to get hold of some cheap 3G spectrum thanks to a deal with the Maori Spectrum Trust. The company also got a $5 million dollars grant from the government, but so far the new network has not been seen.

You can read more about Econet in this interesting article, from 2005 when the company's boss says "None of the other operators have built [third generation] networks yet but we're the ones who've been kicked around for not building one. We've almost been treated like criminals."

This has been building up since 2000. Six years is a long time to build a new network.


"They take infra-red photos of each other while I’m still searching for the on-off button."


Infrared photos? With a mobile phone?

"At least I’m one ahead of one of my co-leaders, who calls his new-age phone his raspberry."


Now, this is a good punch...

And a discussion is going on in our Geekzone Forums.




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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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