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Zero cost to taxpayers for UFB regulation says Joyce

20 May 2011

At the TUANZ Telecommunication Day conference, the Communications and Information Technology Minister, Steven Joyce, said the removal of the regulatory holiday proviso will likely cost Kiwi taxpayers nothing. 

The comments came, according to Australasian industry newsletter Communications Day, as Joyce responded to questioning on the estimated cost to taxpayers of his decision to replace the 8.5 year regulatory forbearance period. "My strongly considered view and advice I've had from officials is zero," he said. 

Joyce said he believed the plan wouldn't cost anything because fibre prices will be very competitive with - equal to or less than - copper. "So to believe that the commission would want to come in over the top and regulate fibre lower than copper because fibre had somehow become a monopoly over its build period has never been an issue for me," said Joyce. 

It has previously been stated, by Joyce, that any costs incurred under the contractual mechanisms that replace the regulatory holiday, would be included in the $1.4 billion UFB funding. The budget was announced yesterday. 

Photo credit: Kainet via Flickr.