NZ is the only country where Internet access is getting more expensive

Spark, Vodafone and Callplus together represent 94 percent of the residential internet market and all have put up their prices for home internet packages.

Internet service providers blame the rises on the Commerce Commission’s recent draft decision which reduced the price companies pay for use of the copper wire network.

The charges relate to what Chorus (the wholesaler) charges internet service providers and telcos like Spark, Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot and Flip, for accessing their copper infrastructure which was deployed years ago by the Post Office. Those wires run down almost every street in the country and are the phone lines we have been using for decades.

Because it is a monopoly, the price that the wholesaler can charge is regulated by the Commerce Commission.

In 2011, when Telecom was split into a retail arm (Telecom) and a wholesale arm (Chorus), the Commission had to work out what Chorus’s wholesale services were worth, and what price they would charge internet service providers and telcos, including Telecom (now Spark) to use those services.

The price was originally set at about $45 per customer per month. Read more »

UFB passes 10% uptake

The fibre rollout is progressing and uptake is growing, passing 10%.

Now if only Chorus would turn on the dark fibre in my street!

Broadband connections have increased nearly 40% over the past quarter according to the latest quarterly figures of the Government?s ultrafast broadband and rural broadband initiative.

The figures, released yesterday by Communications Minister Amy Adams, show around 536,000 end-users are now able to connect to UFB, though only 55,000 are connected. However, 15,500 of those connected to UFB in the three months to September, a 39% increase on last quarter.

The figures indicate a 10% uptake nationally, compared with a national uptake rate of 7% the previous quarter, with the project now 6% ahead of build schedule.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as of September, the UFB deployment progress was 100% complete for Northland. Waikato and Taranaki were sitting at 71% and 62% completed respectively, while Auckland was 26% complete, with Wellington at 29% and Canterbury at 36%. ?? Read more »

Face of the day


Bryce Edwards


The Internet Party is in trouble for a video placed on its official YouTube channel.


“Are you ready for a revolution? Are you ready to take down the Government?,” the Mega founder asks the crowd.

“Are you ready to extradite John Key?”

The next shot shows the crowd with right arms raised chanting “F*** John Key”.


One lone voice in the wilderness ( my face of the day ) Otago University lecturer and political commentator Bryce Edwards thinks that the Video is a good thing.

Read more »

Political Porkies

It seems the minor parties are able to get away with making stuff up, or flat out lying.

As a new service we will now start calling out these ratbags.


First up is Laila Harre who said this on Q+A on Sunday:

A lack of quality digital internet services in this country is probably costing us about 9% of our GDP.

Yeah, right, got any proof of that? No didn’t think so.

Our GDP is around $181 billion, is Laila Harre really saying that a lack of broadband is costing the country?around $16 billion? ? Read more »

Why councils should not own companies

You’d be hard pressed?to find a better example of why councils should not own companies.

City-owned broadband company Enable Services says despite the $44 million jump in the cost of building the fibre network in Christchurch the business case is still intact.

Chief executive of Enable Steve Fuller said the business case which the company started with was based on a $440 million cost to build a fibre optic network in eight years.

It will pass about 182,000 homes and commercial and other premises. The targeted completion date is December 2019.

The company supervising and funding Enable is Christchurch City Holdings (CCHL), the investment arm of Christchurch City Council.

CCHL’s annual report for the year to June 2013 shows a revised estimate of $401m to build the network, $64 million higher than the $337m in 2012.

Fuller said the $337m was a typo error in the 2013 report and should be $357m.

He was not sure why the estimate had dropped to $357m in 2012 from the original $440m. ?? Read more »

Greedy ISPs refusing to pass on savings

Matthew Hooton and a collection of greedy ISPs mounted a campaign to lower the core costs of broadband…labelling the higher prices a “Copper Tax”.

Now that prices have dropped those same ISPs, who were saying that consumers would pay higher prices, aren’t passing on those savings to consumers.

The whole campaign was a fraud and now it is revealed as such.

Hamish Fletcher reports:

Internet companies will enjoy a reduction in some of their wholesale costs in December but aren’t committed to passing on these savings directly to consumers then.

Cuts to what infrastructure company Chorus charges internet retailers like Vodafone and Orcon for some wholesale copper-line broadband services are due to come into effect on December 1.

While two different price changes made by the Commerce Commission will come in on that day, Chorus has requested a wider review of both sets of prices from the regulator.

Although it had been aiming to have both reviews completed by the time the new pricing came into force, the commission on Thursday said it now planned to have a draft decision on both sets of prices by December and a final decision in April.

This means the price change will be in effect for at least four months before any possible change the commission could make in its final rulings.

But while internet providers will enjoy some lower wholesale costs over this time, none are committing themselves to lower prices for customers straight away in December.

Maybe Chorus should employ Hooton to put the acid back on the ISPs, what a surprise they aren’t passing on the savings. ?? Read more »

Unlimited Broadband – it’s in your future

Susan Edmonds reports on the all-you-can-eat data buffet

This month, Telecom and Vodafone began offering unlimited data plans (at $109 a month), so users can download as much content as they like without incurring extra charges or having their broadband speeds cut.

On Thursday, Slingshot responded by cutting the cost of its unlimited offer from $109 to $89 a month.

Slingshot spokesman Taryn Hamilton said data use had doubled in the past 12-18 months as people started using the internet more, and data-heavy websites and apps became more common.

There were a growing number of “power users”, people who watched television online, played games and downloaded content, he said. “These people are flocking to unlimited. It gives price certainty, and allows people to use data without thinking about it, or being worried about the cost.”

More and more people are turning away from broadcast TV as well, choosing to download or stream their content.

The next step is mobile Broadband. ?The allocation of data on those plans is pitiful.


– NZ ?Herald

Labour wants to tax ISPs, watch them tax you in return with higher charges

Labour continue to show what a bunch of muppets they are with their ICT policy that was inadvertently leaked to National showing they want to tax ISPs.

It shows their complete lack of business acumen. They are suggesting a tax on the entire internet via ISPs.

Any cost lumped onto a business like an ISP is simply going to be passed straight onto the customer leading to higher charges.

Telecom is bristling at the suggestion Labour could impose a “content levy” on internet providers.

Labour was left red-faced today after MP Clare Curran?s ideas on ICT policy were accidentally emailed to her National Party counterpart, Communications Minister Amy Adams.

These include imposing a revenue-based levy on telecommunications carriers to create a contestable fund to support the ?creation and accessible distribution of New Zealand digital content?.

Another suggestion is a ?digital bill of rights? policed by the Human Rights Commission that would ?guarantee a citizen privacy?.

Curran, who is associate communications and information technology spokeswoman and Labour?s spokeswoman on ?open government?, said the ideas titled ?ICT Policy Framework 2014? were sent to Adams? office this morning. She did not personally send the email, she said. ? Read more »

An interesting Wikileaks memo

There is an interesting Wikileaks memo about David Cunliffe…some of his ardent supporters might not like what it says about him, in particular his support for the US.

On Telecom:

4. (C) Cunliffe was also upbeat about his telecommunications portfolio, despite the challenges. He is currently trying to break up Telecom, which enjoys a monopoly in most New Zealand telecommunications sectors and what Cunliffe called a “cozy duopoly” with Vodafone in mobile telephony. New Zealand’s overpriced cellular services, Cunliffe said, made clear there was room for a third provider. He expected the entry of a third player in the market to be announced reasonably soon. He said that, in slowing investment and throwing up roadblocks to reform, Telecom was behaving exactly as any monopoly would when faced with being dismantled. He acknowledged that significant government investment in the sector might be required, particulary in broadband, where NZ’s performance against other OECD members has lagged and where the country’s vast and nearly empty rural areas make providing universal coverage a challenge. He noted that people have become very dependent on broadband access in just a few years and reported that his constituent office received far more complaints about broadband access than about any other issue, including the recent, highly-unpopular anti-spanking legislation

On immigration and Muslims:

———– Immigration ———– WELLINGTON 00000461 002 OF 003 ?5. (C) Cunliffe’s constituency is one-third foreign born, the largest percentage of any electorate. He said that, while New Zealanders are generally very tolerant of different cultures, the country did suffer from cyclical waves of anti-immigration sentiment – anti-Pacific in the eighties, anti-Asian in the nineties, and anti-Muslim today. When the PO expressed surprise at the latter, given that Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims, are nearly invisible even in multicultural Auckland, Cunliffe acknowledged that the population was small, but concentrated. He said that Muslims drew suspicion and hostility from other Kiwis who view them, for no good reason, as a security threat. While emphasizing that New Zealand Muslims are loyal to their adopted country and inclined to leave the conflicts of their homelands behind them, Cunliffe expressed some concern that more radical imams are trying to enter the country and stir up trouble. Asked what tools he had to exclude those who have committed no crimes but still might be considered a threat, Cunliffe turned coy. “Some people simply find their visas don’t get renewed,” he said. Cunliffe was confident that such imams are being pushed to New Zealand by radical elements outside the country, rather than pulled into New Zealand by congregations seeking more extreme preachers. ? Read more »

Cry Babies of the W… hour.

It’s time our professional Cry Babies (politicians) come back from holiday, because the daily staple of professional victims and their main stream media enablers is starting to reach concerning proportions.

To wit:

Cry babies:??Robert Young and Brenda Stickley

Credit: MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ (edited)

Credit: MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ (edited)

The Incident:

A Tawa couple feel the look of their house has been ruined after Chorus erected a Fibre Access Terminal in front of their newly landscaped home.

The green pillar, just under a metre high, is one of thousands of such edifices that will be deployed across the country to enable the roll-out of ultrafast broadband.

The appropriate response:

Aw shit. ?Oh well. ?That’s what happens when you are part of a community. ?Utilities like water, power, gas and broadband need to be put somewhere.

The actual response: ? Read more »