Our thoughts on the current Global VPN / Content Issue

TUANZ is a not-for-profit membership association which comprises over 150 members, predominantly large organisations with a strong dependency on telecommunications technology as well as small enterprises.   We also serve a representative group of SMEs and individual members. These small businesses and residential users are also the customers of our large corporate members, who are just as focused on the quality of their customers’ connectivity as their own.   We believe in the value of presenting professional and credible positions on issues that affect our members in line with our principles of encouraging digital uptake in our members businesses and homes through promoting fair and sustainable competition.

Recently four larger media organisations issued legal letters to a number of telecommunication retail service providers (RSPs) asking them to cease and desist in the use and marketing of the Global Mode DNS services.   They went further and demanded that the RSPs state that the use of these DNS services were illegal and should not have been used.  It is not TUANZ’s place to take sides in what is essentially a commercial and legal dispute between the companies, and we will always act impartially with the outcome for users in mind.

While we sympathise with the media organisations in that they believe they have purchased exclusive rights, we also believe that the legal case against Global Mode is unproven and until it is then no RSP should be required to switch off the service and thereby reduce competition for end-users.   If this means a case will be taken and decided in the courts then so be it, all parties will then have clarity around the current legal position.

We support the continued innovation by all New Zealand companies which provide users choice on how to consume content.  However the internet by its nature encourages the breakdown of traditional business models and geographic boundaries and so it is our view that the laws governing this need to be reviewed to ensure they work well for New Zealanders today and in the future.  These include copyright laws, as well as others such as tax laws to ensure that companies providing services in New Zealand are required to play by the same rules.  We would welcome a comprehensive review and would look to represent our members views at the relevant time.

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