Media Release: TUANZ cautiously welcomes Government's direction on the future of communications regulation

14th April 2016

TUANZ cautiously welcomes the Government’s announcements today on some key decisions for the future of telecommunications regulation in New Zealand.

“These decision are generally in line with our submission to the original discussion paper” said Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.  “We are generally supportive of the move to the utility style regulations and will engage in the discussion on the specifics to ensure we vigorously support the right outcomes for business and consumer users of these services”.   He went on to state that until there is more detail released on the proposals including transitional arrangements, the impact will not be fully understood.

The decision regarding consulting on competition in the mobile sector is also a positive decision.  “This was also one of the key points we made in our submission  - that all aspects of the mobile market need to be reviewed to ensure ongoing competition is strong and we see the continuance of multi-party participation.” said Mr. Young.  TUANZ believes this review is critical to ensure that all the relevant tools are in place to ensure that competition and coverage continue to improve in Rural New Zealand in line with their goal of high quality, ubiquitous connectivity across the country.

“We look forward to engaging fully in the process as the group representing the users of these technologies” Mr. Young said.

ENDS

 

Media Release: TUANZ symposium connecting rural New Zealand.

The TUANZ Rural Connectivity Symposium is back for 2016, on 28th April at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Building on the valuable networks and relationships formed at the successful 2015 event, TUANZ will bring internet service providers, health providers and rural end-users of telecommunications together again to talk about the opportunities and challenges of internet access and connectivity in rural New Zealand.

This year’s symposium is being held in conjunction with Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ), and New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF). It will kick off with an opening address from Communications Minister Amy Adams, and ‘State of the Nation’ speeches from agribusiness and banking leaders.

Each of the day’s speakers come from varied backgrounds, including health, farming, businesses and technology, and will share their thoughts about the future of connectivity in rural New Zealand.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young says that the focus of the day is going to be on how rural connectivity can provide better outcomes across three important areas: health, liveability, and business.

“The symposium provides a unique opportunity for those affected by rural connectivity in New Zealand to present a unified voice as the government begins to move into the next phase of the rural broadband initiative”, says Mr Young.

“RHĀNZ in partnership with TUANZ and NZYF is committed to influencing the debate and policy decisions around rural connectivity with the input of those most affected by the issue – the rural residents of New Zealand”, says RHĀNZ Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson.

Attendees will be actively involved during the symposium, with two workshop sessions, and panel discussions throughout the day. The partners will also publish a post-symposium paper as a summary of the major themes to emerge out of the day, both for distribution to attendees, and to help shape the thinking of internet providers and government policy makers.

If you are interested in helping rural communities be part of the 21st century in New Zealand, you can register to attend on the RHĀNZ and TUANZ websites.

The symposium is on Thursday 28th April from 9am–5pm, at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, and will be followed by networking drinks. Registration costs $120 for TUANZ, RHĀNZ and NZYF members, or $250 for non-members.

ENDS

 

Media Release: Easier install access an important step for UFB rollout

The Government’s announcement of streamlined consenting rules for installing Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) is an excellent step towards getting all New Zealanders connected.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young says property access for installations is one of the most important issues facing the UFB rollout, and he is happy to finally see that Government, and Minister Adams, have moved to deal with the problem.

“There is rapidly growing demand for UFB, and Government is rightly focused on making sure there are no unnecessary delays for customers wanting to get connected,” says Young.

“These new rules will allow customers living down shared driveways and right-of-ways to be able to access this nationally important infrastructure without unnecessary difficulty or delay.

“Just last week TUANZ reiterated the importance of dealing with install access issues. We hope that the necessary legislation will be drafted and moved through the House as soon as possible.

“Just as importantly, we are looking forward to seeing Government’s plans for opening up install access to multi-dwelling units (apartments for example) where people have been unable to get fibre installed, and measures to provide certainty to network operators about access to private property to maintain fibre infrastructure,” says Young.

There is still a lot of work to be done by industry to ensure that customers don’t have to wait to get connected, from streamlining how they work together to service customers, to the notable shortage in the number of technicians that can install fibre - a more complicated process than a traditional install.

“A quick and painfree install process is vital to the success of the UFB programme,” says Young. 

Media Release: Now's good to check you internet service, as UFB connections grow

With the latest government figures showing that Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB), and Rural Broadband (RBI) connections continue to increase, it’s time for users to start reviewing their Internet services to make sure they’re getting the best speeds, and the best price, available.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young said that yesterday’s numbers, along with last week’s report from the Telecommunications Forum (TCF), show the vast improvement that has been made in the New Zealand telecommunications industry over the last decade, and that it is important for users to actively compare their options as the market continues to grow.

The acceptance of the Commerce Commission’s copper pricing decision by industry was also a positive sign for the sector, said Young, and, while TUANZ believes the outcome was not beneficial to users, “it has given the industry important clarity on access pricing from now until 2019, which is important for users as they are choosing between services”.

Users can see what services are available to them by checking their address on their local retail service providers’ websites, on the Chorus or local fibre company’s site, or on the National Broadband Map available via the TUANZ website.

“TUANZ is committed to encouraging the continued growth in uptake of the new fast broadband services, as we believe they deliver the best possible service and price for users”, said Young.

“We were an early advocate for the need to increase network infrastructure investment, which helped lead to the UFB and RBI policies and programmes, and we will continue to support their uptake and use by people and businesses as an essential investment in New Zealand’s future.

“Our focus now needs to turn to how we are going to use UFB and RBI to turn New Zealand into a digital economy, and how we can get fibre installed into premises more urgently.”

Latest figures show that it can take anywhere from 22 to 104 days to have the service installed, and government is still to move on issues around multi-dwelling units and other issues impacting on installation.

“While we all know that installation is not as simple as flicking a switch, we are concerned that delivery times are increasing rather than decreasing. TUANZ is interested in working with industry and government to help address these sorts of issues where we can”, said Young.

While residential uptake continues to grow at a rapid pace, slower business uptake should be a concern to policy makers and service providers alike.

“Encouraging small and medium enterprises to take up these new services will encourage innovation in their approach to increasing business productivity, leading to better economic outcomes for both them and our country”, said Young.

“TUANZ is committed to developing resources to help businesses understand the value of fibre and 4G services, and how they can save time and money by investing in putting UFB and RBI to work for them.”


ENDS