Bad National

Just to show I do have independent thought, I’ll mention a couple of recent decisions by National, or some MPs, which were a bit disappointing.

I was bitterly disappointed that Rodney Hide’s bill to allow shops to open on Easter Sunday was defeated. It was good most National MPs voted in favour of it, but ten did vote against.

If customers wish to shop on Easter Sunday, and business owners wish to open for business, and employees want to actually work and earn extra money, I can’t conceive why Parliament would want to pass a law making this illegal. It is nanny state gone crazy, telling all these people we know what is best for you.

Some people twitter on about how it is nice to have a day of rest. Well how the hell do they dare decide for me what is restful.

I was also disappointed that National did not back local loop unbundling. Probably inevitable after the Telco Commissioner reversed his own recommendation in favour, and I suspect Labour will not back it either.

Normally I am very loath to interfere in the propery rights of a private company, but I am also a big believer in a free market with competition and we don’t really have that with broadband Internet access.

NZ has one of the highest rates of Internet use in the world, but we have an abysmally low rate of private broadband usage.

I pay $80 a month for full jetstream. Now the speed is pretty good ranging from 2.3 Mb/sec to 7.2 Mb/sec, but the traffic limit per month is only 1 GB. Now that may sound a lot but it is not. That is only 30 MB a day and I normally clock up well over 20 MB a day just in downloading e-mail (I get a lot of spam) and web browsing. This is no video playing, game playing or file sharing.

To show how small the limit is, if I was downloading at the standard Jetsream speed of 2Mb/sec I would use up my monthly quota of 1GB in 67 minutes!

With proper competition I am confident we would have far more realistic broadband options than one which only allows you to use it at full speed for 67 minutes a month before you start paying $3/minute for excess usage.

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