28 Apr 2009

Telecom puts up alternatives to broadband plan

5:53 pm on 28 April 2009

Telecom has put forward two proposals in response to the Government's plan to spend $1.5 billion providing ultra-fast broadband to three-quarters of New Zealand.

Telecom says it is in strong a position to provide a fibre optic broadband network at the lowest cost to taxpayers.

Both of its proposals differ from the Government's plan to set up regional fibre companies to oversee the building of regional networks.

Its first plan would co-ordinate the Government's investment with its own fibre network and plans, and extend the network throughout New Zealand to deliver the maximum amount of fibre.

Its second plan would create a national network of ducts, owned by a Crown company, to which all network providers can have access, so they lay their own fibre.

In both cases, it says prices would be set so Telecom would not make a profit from the Government's investment.

Telecom says it would connect fibre to 2,000 schools and all hospitals within two years of starting work.

The Government is reviewing submissions to the fibre plan.

Meanwhile, Federated Farmers says the Government's plan for a $48 million investment in rural broadband may not go far enough.

It says it does not want to see rural New Zealand treated as a second-class area.