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Entry 285, on 2006-02-15 at 13:36:56 (Rating 3, News)

A commentator on National Radio recently made an interesting error in pronunciation when discussing our so-called broadband services by using the word "broadbland". I know its not a real word, but maybe it should be. Bland: lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting, flat, flavourless, insipid, savorless, vapid. Sounds like the current service offered by Telecom to me!

The issue of broadband service quality has recently re-surfaced, here in New Zealand. The basic infrastructure is controlled by our main landline service provider, Telecom (which is a virtual monopoly that I have criticised in many past blogs). The same problem of poor, over-priced Internet service here has been discussed often in the past, but Telecom have just assured everyone they will fix it, then continued with the same mediocre expensive services they have always had.

This time something might finally happen. Even the prime minister is standing up in public and criticising Telecom. The time has come to ignore their baseless assurances that everything is OK. They have had plenty of chances to fix things and provide us with a fair deal. Now regulation must be introduced to ensure they play fair. The sooner this happens the better.

I currently pay $40 per month for 1G of slow broadband - what a rip-off! But Telecom have a monopoly on the lines, so they can set the basic price all providers have to charge. We already pay an exorbitant fee for just the privilege of using the lines. Now we seem to be paying it twice.

My preferred option would be for the government to regain control of the basic telecommunications infrastructure, and hire it to all providers that require it. That would be a similar arrangement to our railway lines, which were mismanaged by the previous private owner. But to make Telecom want to give up this power we first have to make the lines much less of an easy source of revenue by introducing much stronger restrictions on how they can be operated. A reasonable future for Internet and telecommunication here is possible - but preferably without Telecom!


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