10 Nov 2011

Hold off on spectrum divvy-up, Government urged

5:45 pm on 10 November 2011

Internet New Zealand wants the Government to delay a divvy-up of the old analogue television spectrum so it can see what other countries are doing with their frequencies first.

The 700-megahertz spectrum will become available for other uses after television channels have switched over to digital, a process that begins next year.

The Government is due to decide in April what it will do with the freed-up resource.

But Internet New Zealand, a lobby group, wants it to hold off. Chief executive Vikram Kumar says this country should follow the lead of bigger nations.

"Rather than lock in New Zealand for 20 years," he says, "it's better for us as a country to wait to see wide-scale adoption overseas of a particular pattern of allocation before we adopt that too."

Mr Kumar says the extra capacity could be used to improve wireless broadband service, and also by radio stations and emergency services.