Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, according to Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“As predicted last week, hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now face monthly price rises for their phone and internet connections after Spark, Vodafone and Callplus all announced prices hikes.”
Curran has pointed the finger at Prime Minister John Key, saying he “can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases.”
“John Key’s controversial assurance two years ago to Chorus Chair Sue Sheldon that that he would sort out the copper price issue to protect Chorus shareholders continues to hurt Kiwi households.”
Curran says “when the Commerce Commission accepted Chorus’ argument about the value and replacement cost of a new network, the die was cast to keep the copper broadband price higher”.
She says telcos are now raising prices to protect their own revenue margins and satisfy their shareholders.
“Meanwhile it’s the poor old consumer who gets to pay the price,” says Clare Curran.