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Copper tax triggers telco, consumer activism
Posted on 12-Sep-2013 09:19 by Bill Bennett. | Tags Filed under: News.

Industry and consumer groups are joining forces to campaign against what they describe as a government imposed internet tax to subsidise Chorus.

The group, calling itself The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing is holding a press conference later today in Wellington. Members cover a wide range and include:

Consumer NZ, InternetNZ, and the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), CallPlus and Slingshot, the Federation of Maori Authorities, Greypower, Hautaki Trust, KiwiBlog, KLR Holdings, National Urban Maori Authorities, New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, Orcon, Rural Women, Te Huarahi Tika Trust and the Unite Union.

Today’s press conference is being organised by Exceltium Ltd a corporate affairs consultancy that was previously behind the Drop The Rate Mate campaign which successfully pressured the government to lower mobile termination rates. The consultancy is known to have the ear of key members of the National Party.

Previously Labour communications spokesperson has been critical of what she describes as  $100 million bailout to rollout the UFB network while the company posted a healthy $171 million net profit for 2013.

Curran is also concerned Chorus will be allowed to use competitive copper pricing in the areas where it doesn't control the fibre roll out.

She says: "In other words Chorus can undercut the three smaller taxpayer UFB companies in Northland, the mid-North Island and Canterbury in order to protect its own business. This is called pocket pricing; it is an extraordinary rort."

No doubt there will be more similar comments at today’s event.

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