November 28, 2013
Maori Party rejection blow to copper tax plan
A Government attempt to create a subsidy for telecommunications company Chorus looks doomed now that support parties including the Maori Party have rejected the idea.
The Maori Party says it will oppose any legislation to reduce or delay the cuts to internet prices ordered by the Commerce Commission.
That’s the so-called copper tax, the price that Chorus could charge other companies to use its copper network.
Co-leader Tariana Turia says the Maori Party is keenly aware of the digital divide within New Zealand, and increasing the cost of copper broadband and voice services above the cost-based price set by the commission would further entrench that divide.
She says low income, elderly, Maori, Pasifika and rural communities already have inferior access to the internet.
Mana has also rejected the so called copper tax, with leader Hone Harawira saying it’s about getting poor whanau in Te Tai Tokerau to pay for a fibre broadband network for National’s rich mates in Remuera.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd