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Govt has fingers in its ears on international fibre connections

Labour is challenging the Government to open its ears to the concerns New Zealand’s business community has regarding internet capacity and the need for a second fibre cable.

Labour’s Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says the proposal by Kim Dotcom to back a second cable requires more analysis, but is worth consideration.

“The sentiment is right. Kiwi businesses, particularly in the technology sector, have been calling for a second cable for some time now. Their concerns need to be taken seriously," Curran says.

“The Government’s much-vaunted ultrafast broadband scheme is in strife because people are not connecting in the numbers it had hoped. But they're not connecting because there's nothing to connect to.

“The model was always flawed because although it invested in internal capacity, it ignored the international part of the equation and hasn't invested in increased service provision in essential Government services.

“It expects the market to sort it all out. While we are waiting for that to happen, our economic growth opportunities are being squandered.

“Providing affordable international broadband will see usage increase substantially, with companies using the technology to improve their businesses and increase exports.

“It's hardly rocket science.

“As Kim Dotcom has pointed out the Government is quite happy to invest billions in highways of dubious significance while at the same time neglecting the international fibre highway connections that will help our economy flourish."