If one had to list all the issues that National Business Review and the Green Party agrees on, it would be a pretty short list. One item on it though would be the need for change in our telecommunications environment.
For those who don’t get the NBR print edition, they published a series of articles over five pages dealing with the “Telecom handbrake” on New Zealand. In what was effectively a front page editorial they called on the Government to take action. Less surprisingly the Greens have endorsed the call for action.
My economic and political views are pretty well known and I am not usually at all a fan of government intervention. I love leaving it to the market. But when there is an effective monopoly that is a different situation and I support local loop unbundling (as every other OECD country except Mexico does). In fact not local loop unbundling will be enough to get a level playing field and the vertical integration of Telecom also has to be looked at.
Now I have sometimes wondered whether it is just me being “soft” in this area because I am so involved with Internet issues. Well having seen both Gareth Morgan and Fran O’Sullivan in the last few weeks call for Government action on Telecom, I am reassured that I am at least in good company!
Also yesterday one had senior executives from Microsoft, Intel, Symantec and IBM all decry the broadband update in NZ and also call for Government action.
This adds up to what InternetNZ has called a cross-community chorus for change. The ball is firmly with the Government and Parliament.