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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 87220 22-Jul-2011 18:25
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Received this today from TelstraClear:


I challenge business to speak out when a Government has made up its mind, with little or no consultation about a policy that drives to the heart of an industry, and then refuses to talk about it. The ultra-fast broadband legislation is an example.

‘Freedom is when the people can speak; democracy is when the government listens’. Many Kiwis are becoming disillusioned with the increasing tendency by Governments of all political hues to cut-short consultation periods, and push laws through under urgency.

The Human Rights Commission points to a rising tide of concern about the lack of public participation in the submission process. It also notes a diminishing collective deliberation about fundamental reforms, and a generally-perceived declining respect for those making submissions.

These views are backed by the research and commentary of academics, members of the judiciary and the legal profession, business representatives, members of civil society organisations, media commentators, and concerned individuals.

Nearly everybody, except Government.

Business occupies a unique part of any nation and its economy. It is the only human activity that creates wealth.

Yes, Government plays a huge role in ensuring businesses play nicely, and are responsible citizens. Businesses do not have a vote but they are not second class citizens. They have a right to be heard. As Colin Firth’s King George VI said, ‘I have a voice and deserve to be heard’.

When governments legislate in an area which impacts on business, business has a democratic duty, and a right, to contribute to the debate to ensure the final outcome is an improvement on the existing environment.

John Adams, second President of the United States and co-author of the Constitution noted ‘liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.’

Sadly, lack of transparency and institutional arrogance have been the hallmarks of the process around UFB.

By allowing this to continue, what type of democracy and law-making process are New Zealanders encouraging?

The majority of the telecommunications industry and consumer groups can be proud of having the courage to call ‘time’ on a Government intent on ramming through legislation in a manner inconsistent with the spirit and intent of our democratic system. In a mature and robust society, contrary and diverse views should be welcomed as a basis to test the validity and viability of ideas, proposals or public policy.

I challenge business leaders of all industries to think about the law-making process and TelstraClear’s experience and to ensure we collectively retain our voice and are heard.

Democracy is designed for all views to be heard. As the quote, famously attributed to Voltaire, states, ‘I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.’

Business and private citizens have a duty to their democracy to defend to the death that right to be heard. TelstraClear did it in the UFB debate. At the last minute the Minister backed down and the Commerce Commission was reinstated as the consumer and industry watchdog. It should never have come to that.

It was a bittersweet victory –if due process had been followed, and principles of democracy and good business-government dialogue met, we could all have saved ourselves time, money, and hassle.

I was stunned when Mr Joyce on National Radio said that TelstraClear could have saved itself a lot of time and money if it had written him a letter.

If the Minister’s staff have lost them, then I am happy to provide copies of a letter in which I asked for meetings, another letter in which I suggested a different mechanism to the regulatory holiday and asked to meet, and I can also provide a transcript of the public speech asking for a round-table meeting to find some common understanding.

Misrepresentation may be the weapon of choice for a politician in trouble, but one has to be careful when there is a written record.

A battle won, but a war undecided.

Allan Freeth
Chief Executive, TelstraClear

 
 




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  Reply # 497044 23-Jul-2011 10:49
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tl;dr :)

Longer answer: He doesn't say what "battle" they've won?  Personally, I wish Telstra Clear would, you know, compete instead of complaining.  They are perfectly capable of finding and spending the money to pull their own fiber network.  TNZ and VF regularly find that amount of money to put in mobile networks, so why is a fixed network so hard to fund?  They usable lifetime of the network is a lot longer...

Jason






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  Reply # 497267 24-Jul-2011 08:50
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jpollock: tl;dr :)

Longer answer: He doesn't say what "battle" they've won?  Personally, I wish Telstra Clear would, you know, compete instead of complaining.  They are perfectly capable of finding and spending the money to pull their own fiber network.  TNZ and VF regularly find that amount of money to put in mobile networks, so why is a fixed network so hard to fund?  They usable lifetime of the network is a lot longer...

Jason




Totally agree

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  Reply # 497459 24-Jul-2011 22:56
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To be honest i thought Telstraclear's ad campaigns were a failure when it came to alerting the public of the issue.
I supported some of what they were saying - as far as i can tell anyway - but that was the inherent problem with their ad campaigns, the TV ad ran all of the time, but no one seemed to know whatit was about. The URL simply redirected to a facebook page that even myself and other technologically minded people I knew still couldn't figure out exactly what telstraclear was going on about. I had to do a lot more research to get the run down of what it was about.

I think the fact the page had only 700 'likes' at last look (peak of the campaign) demonstrated this fact well - such a campaign that i saw promoted many times should have many more than that, and probably would have if they actually explained plainly what it was about.

https://www.facebook.com/ultrafastbroadband

This page still only has 900 'likes', and aside from wall posts the only information provided is a letter sent to MPs which is filled with too much blabbing.

I do applaud the commerce commission regulating the industry however, and good job telstraclear for supporting this (assuming that this was what they were campaigning for!)

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  Reply # 497494 25-Jul-2011 09:09
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The whole campaign from TC and TC's statements smack of sore-loser after being told HFC wasn't an option (Thank God), How much longer would the process have been drawn out with all the industry players with all their commercial and political bias, Would we still be fighting about HFC as an option?

I find it laughable that Telstra of all people are the ones complaining about lack of industry involvement when they themselves act as an Island in NZ with no peering, no movement forward on 100mbit HFC and little openness on their own network and their own staff and front line people dont even know that Telstra offer UFB plans already up north!




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All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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  Reply # 497510 25-Jul-2011 10:26
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In todays Dompost - Infotech there is a big article about a letter written from Paul Reynolds of telecom to Stephen Joyce about the time telecom changed its stance on supporting the UFB.
In brief - the article says the government does not want to release the contents of this letter under the OIA while both men are still employed in their current roles.

sorry cant find stuff hyperlink


Hence I find the reference by TelstraCear to letter writing to Joyce is of major significance especially if it is true that Joyce didnt respond.

It smells of a backroom deal that invalidates the subsequent UFB tenders.
If the government entered into discussions  - or even responded to telecom letters without treating Telstraclear the same - that breaks the most important procurement rule in the book, (even if they weren in an actual tender process at the time).


 

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  Reply # 497600 25-Jul-2011 13:45
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Telstraclear was out of the UFB running when HFC was ruled out so depending on dates it's moot




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All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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  Reply # 497677 25-Jul-2011 16:26
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from memory your right but I have a lot of doubt that this has been a straight up tender process where the government has treated all tender respondents equally.
For instance  -did Telecoms letter influence the evaluation outcome,  did the government compare all respondents against the same selection criteria, were these criteria biased towards a premeditated solution

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  Reply # 497681 25-Jul-2011 16:36
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Hi all,

It was important for New Zealand consumers to have Commerce Commission oversight and this is one of the things that TelstraClear sucessfully fought to have in the legislation.

This is from the FAQs (http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/company-info/ufb-legislation/ufb-faqs.cfm) that have been online since the early days:
Does TelstraClear want to take part in the UFB roll-out?We've deliberately chosen not to be a part of the UFB partnering process. Instead, we've opted to focus on our role as a telecommunications services provider.

As a network operator, TelstraClear has a 20-year history of investing in telecommunications networks. In areas where we don't have our own network, we have significant experience in delivering our services over other networks.
For this reason TelstraClear is preparing itself to work with any of the successful UFB bidders to deliver services across the fibre network. This includes any entity that may come from a separated Telecom, should it be successful in bidding to partner with the Government to build the network.

Cheers, Gary

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  Reply # 497700 25-Jul-2011 17:48
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Gbowering: Does TelstraClear want to take part in the UFB roll-out? We've deliberately chosen not to be a part of the UFB partnering process. Instead, we've opted to focus on our role as a telecommunications services provider.


So if TCL only wants to be a Service Provider then why the diatribe from Freeth?  And what was Freeth's point in it... Since I seemed to miss it somehow.

The Govt tendered for UFB and awarded major bits to Chorus after they said they would split fully from Telecom and other fibre providers who have fibre in certain regions who weren't retailers / service providers won bits too.

The only other option the Govt really had was to get the power companies to run the fibre or to try and setup a new SOE and build it all themselves.  Both of which are madness IMHO.  Running a power grid with their SCADA systems is one thing and building and running a Fibre / L2 IP Network is a very different beast.  Telecom/Chorus are the only player who has nationwide fixed line coverage and a whole lot of fibre already in the ground (with perhaps the exception of Vodafone with their mobile coverage, but who run's all the fibre back-haul for them (and 2D too) ..........?)

I really stuggle to see what TCL's problem with all of this is if they only want to be a service provider.

I could see more basis for arguments from companies such as Vector or Transrail who have a reasonable fibre investment nationwide.  But they aren't Telco carriers either.

And why didn't Freeth talk about the copyright laws coming in on 1 Sept... They have sigificant potential to harm the economy too and were rushed in under urgency with the guise of the chch quake.

As always these are my views, and only my views not those of my employer.





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  Reply # 497797 25-Jul-2011 22:56
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Well Freeth is basically claming kudos for getting the government to ditch regulatory forbearance, see:
http://www.crownfibre.govt.nz/news/government-updates/regulatory-forbearance-to-be-replaced.aspx

However a whole ton of companies did submissions and lobbying against it so......

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  Reply # 497804 25-Jul-2011 23:03
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Sorry, what was the battle that was won again?

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  Reply # 497823 25-Jul-2011 23:46
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Ragnor: Well Freeth is basically claming kudos for getting the government to ditch regulatory forbearance, see:
http://www.crownfibre.govt.nz/news/government-updates/regulatory-forbearance-to-be-replaced.aspx

However a whole ton of companies did submissions and lobbying against it so......


Really??? I didn't read that but perhaps I must be missing it. As I always thought it was the group of 11 who pushed for it.






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