Friday, June 24, 2011

New Zealand - Legislation passed for separation of NZ Telecom and ultra-fast broadband after months of acrimonious debate

[nz herald] The law paving the way for the break-up of Telecom and the ultra-fast broadband scheme passed its third reading in Parliament yesterday, 65 votes to 42.

After months of brouhaha, the Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill will now become law on July 1.

It allows for the rollout of the Government's ultra-fast broadband network, a 2008 election promise that hopes to deliver internet speeds of 100 megabits per second to 75 per cent of New Zealand by the end of 2019.

The law also sets out the requirements for Telecom to split from its network arm-Chorus, in one of the biggest corporate shakeups in decades.

Telecom proposed the split as part of its bid for broadband contracts, which it was awarded on May 24.

Chorus will now receive $929 million of taxpayer funding to build and manage almost 70 per cent of the fibre internet network.

Communications Minister Steven Joyce released a jubilant statement yesterday evening, claiming the network would revolutionise business, health and education in New Zealand.

Vote clears way for ultra-fast broadband revolution

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