UFB2 looks good but does it all add up?
Posted 26th Jan 2017
Filed under: Communications & IT
Taxpayers should be asking where is the money coming from for the second phase of the Governments ultrafast broadband scheme announced today, says Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

In 2014 the Government promised $210 million for the second phase of UFB, to be paid for from the Future Investment Fund which is already oversubscribed. Almost three years later they have increased the cost by another $100m which they say is tacked onto the original UFB allocation.
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Labour helps deliver better broadband to regions
Posted 19th Dec 2016
Filed under: Communications & IT
Rural and farming communities can look forward to better broadband after Labour pushing through an initiative to deliver broadband fibre through existing electricity networks reached a crucial stage in parliament, says newly-appointed Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Ms Curran, who was named the new Labour ICT spokesperson in Leader Andrew Littles recent reshuffle, says her party colleagues took up the issue of delivering better broadband through the Commerce Select Committee, after Government inaction.
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Offshore workers shipped in at expense of locals
Posted 18th Nov 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Cut-price contractor Visionstream is trying to bring in offshore workers for the UFB fibre roll-out while at the same time workers doing the same job are being cut at Downer, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Visionstreams contract for the UFB roll-out is being expanded into Wellington. Instead of looking for local workers they are applying for the right to bring in workers from offshore so they can pay them low rates.
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Govt broadband not keeping up with business needs
Posted 28th Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
The latest MYOB Business Monitor which shows just 40 per cent of businesses are happy with their internet service only touches the surface of regional dissatisfaction, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

According to MYOB satisfaction with internet service has fallen from 49 per cent to 40 per cent. Thats a big drop. Business technology is improving at a far quicker pace than Nationals broadband roll-out, especially in the regions. This has caused dissatisfaction in regional businesses according to council surveys.
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Minister sacks Ministry for rural broadband
Posted 22nd Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams must start an independent technical audit of the delivery outcomes on the Governments $300m rural broadband scheme after the Minister sacked the ministry responsible for its management, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Amy Adams is desperately trying to contain the growing fallout from her governments mismanagement of rural broadband. She has sacked MBIE from the job and handed control of the next tranche of government funding to Crown Fibre Holdings.
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55km Cable to Nowhere serves one customer
Posted 22nd Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
A 55km Cable to Nowhere has been laid between Wairoa and Tuai to apparently serve just one company, while in many other regions there is limited rural internet access, says Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Genesis Energy has been the sole recipient of an incredibly long length of fibre. It is especially concerning when the local school at Tuai has been unable to qualify for funding to get the software to make use of the new bandwidth even if it had the money to get connected.
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Govt broadband scheme slammed by regions
Posted 21st Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments rural broadband initiative is failing the regions and prompting an outcry among local mayors, councils, National MPs, Fonterra and Federated Farmers, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Rural New Zealand is being left behind in the broadband race. The figures from council surveys are truly astonishing.
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Govt must clarify if software patents are in TPP
Posted 14th Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
New Zealands tech sector faces an uncertain future if a hard-fought for exclusion for software patents is missing from the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Labour and the tech sector fought long and hard to convince the government to accept that software should not be subject to patents as it stifles innovation and creativity in a fast-moving sector which spans many industries.
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Poor regions to miss out on better internet
Posted 12th Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Regional ratepayers will have to stump up as co-investors in hundreds of towns and communities to subsidise improved broadband access, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Despite calling for expressions of interest in March from all local authorities to access a new pool of funding to improve substandard internet connections, the government last week quietly changed the rules for how the money will be allocated.
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National lengthens the digital lag
Posted 6th Oct 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Rural New Zealands growing anger at substandard internet connections is catching up on the Government with panicked, unfunded and unambitious promises made by Communications Minister Amy Adams, says Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.



National's 'aspirational' target for broadband connectivity in ten years time is a cynical attempt to distract from the under-delivering rural broadband.
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Clare Curran - Loopy rules report contains loopy broadband suggestions
Posted 22nd Sep 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government seems intent on putting the ultrafast broadband scheme at risk in a loopy rules reduction report released today by suggesting new infrastructure connections be optional, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.



The Rules Reduction Taskforce report cited an opportunity to Make new infrastructure connections optional and negotiable.
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TICS Amendment Bill a check on Ministers powers
Posted 17th Sep 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Clare Currans Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill will restrict the unfettered powers granted to the GCSB and its Minister.



The TICS Act, alongside the GCSB Amendment Act, granted extraordinary surveillance powers to the GCSB and its Minister in 2013.



My Bill creates a Technical Advisory Board to act as a crucial independent buffer against the GCSB and a Government minister exercising surveillance powers with no independent scrutiny or accountability.
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Govt focuses on 2020 while rural internet stagnates in 2015
Posted 9th Sep 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
While National debates the rules for post 2020 telecommunication, it is dragging its heels on fixing the quality of internet connections right now in rural communities says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Last week the Minister quietly revealed that the second phase of the Rural Broadband scheme has been put off until after the ultrafast broadband second stage has been determined.
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Broadband failure sucks up more cash
Posted 3rd Jul 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence its a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.



The Government is about to spend an extra $150 million on a programme that isnt working. The RBI could prove to be one of the most misguided spends of this National Government.
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Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
Posted 2nd Jul 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commissions latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.



In an apparent attempt to appease everyone, the Commissions decision is a victory for the status quo.
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Action on UFB barriers better late than never
Posted 9th Jun 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Several years of warnings and pleas to free up the barriers to connecting households and businesses to ultrafast broadband has finally prompted some action from the Government, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

The release of an MBIE discussion document on options for improving land access for telecommunications should hasten complex fibre installs and is good news for the thousands of frustrated New Zealanders who want fibre but cant get it.
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Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
Posted 28th May 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Rural New Zealanders and InternetNZ have expressed strong concerns that the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) isnt delivering quality internet and has connected very few households.
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Another new tax, another broken promise
Posted 22nd May 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
National has unveiled yet another new tax in this Budget a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said

The Telecommunications Development Levy Amendment Bill that is being rushed through under urgency today will force the telco industry to hike broadband prices.
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New broadband tax more wasteful spending
Posted 21st May 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
An extra $150 million is being pumped into a $300 million government rural broadband scheme despite officials admitting today they have no idea how many have people have been connected, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The rural broadband initiative is looking increasingly like another example of wasteful government spending after MBIE officials admitted they cant or wont measure the connections.
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Ministers must act on 111 failure
Posted 4th May 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Lives are being put at risk if the company contracted to manage emergency 111 calls cant cope with increased numbers, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Saturdays situation where people calling the emergency services were unable to get through and were instead cut off shows theres something wrong with the system.
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Job losses show folly of Chorus copper cuts
Posted 29th Apr 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Chorus and the Government are neglecting the copper broadband network, leading to 145 potential job losses at Transfield Services as well as poor services in the regions, says Labours Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.



Steven Joyce and Amy Adams have made a mess of the ultra-fast broadband roll-out which is well behind schedule. Instead of acknowledging this, they are still pretending the roll-out is running on time so are happy with Chorus neglecting the copper network.
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Chorus slashes spending on copper network
Posted 23rd Feb 2015
Filed under: Communications & IT
Chorus has slashed spending on the copper network by almost a third, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Choruss half yearly financial statement out today shows the company will cut spending from $21 million to $15 million on the network, which the vast majority of its customers are on.
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Is it time to pick a date to switch-off copper network?
Posted 18th Dec 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
In 2015 the broadband community should start the critical discussion on how and when New Zealand can migrate from the copper broadband network to fibre because the current government wont, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

If they dont, then New Zealand will be bogged down in ongoing debates about the price of copper broadband thwarting economic development opportunities from fibre.
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John Key cant duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
Posted 10th Dec 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now face monthly price rises for their phone and internet connections after Spark, Vodafone and Callplus all announced prices hikes today.
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Consumers lose out in copper broadband prices
Posted 2nd Dec 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Consumers will bear the brunt of todays Commerce Commission decision which looks set to hike up the monthly cost of broadband over the copper network, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

While Labour supports the Commerce Commissions role as the independent umpire we note with concern that their decision to raise the wholesale copper price from their interim price creates ongoing uncertainty for telcos and looks set to make things harder for Kiwi consumers in the lead-up to Christmas.
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Chorus regulator rort fails: broadband bills should fall
Posted 16th Oct 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Kiwi families will be better off now that Chorus standover tactics on copper broadband have failed, so long as retailers pass on the drop in wholesale prices, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The irony is Chorus attempts to rort the regulated framework for copper broadband have been thwarted by their own mismanagement.
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National finally wakes up to rural broadband issue
Posted 26th Aug 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams must guarantee that the new fund announced today will be truly contestable and not just a slush fund for large telcos or a continuation of the existing failed Rural Broadband Initiative, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Todays new fund is an admission that the RBI has failed and under-shot the ambitions of New Zealanders.
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Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
Posted 31st Jul 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven Everythings Sweet Joyce, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers to both rural and broadband schemes in Parliament today in an attempt to cover up the National Governments sluggish progress on both schemes.
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Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
Posted 18th Jul 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the companys revenue

gaps, says Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The deal between Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings shows Chorus has failed to manage its own business. The deal allows Chorus to access money that was meant to be spent on the UFB roll-out in 2018 and 2019.
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Joyce performs U-turn in Labours garage
Posted 15th Jul 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Just four days after calling Labours ICT Garage Grants off the planet Steven Joyce has supported the policy and trumpeted funding for ICT entrepreneurs, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Last Friday Labour announced its Digital Economic Upgrade which included Garage Grants to provide funding for entrepreneurs to turn their innovative ideas into the Xeros and Trade Mes of the future.
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Chief Technology Officer to lead Labours Digital Upgrade
Posted 9th Jul 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Information Technology issues, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.



Reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) will undertake a wide-ranging inquiry into how information technology projects are managed by government agencies, and ensure systems work better and more efficiently in future.
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Dunne mismanagement of Windows XP migration costing taxpayers
Posted 7th Jul 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Peter Dunne needs to explain why millions of dollars of taxpayers money is being used to prop up outdated and unsupported computer systems across the public service - exposing some key Ministries to increased security risks, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Labour has complained to the Ombudsman following a refusal by Mr Dunne to respond to Official Information Act requests and requests by a journalist on the number of government agencies continuing to run computers on the Microsoft Windows XP operating system which is no longer officially supported by Microsoft.
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Urgent court date needed to consider meat industry redundancies: Labour
Posted 17th Jun 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Lengthy delays in the industrial court could see up to 180 Mosgiel meat workers remain in limbo, with no secure jobs and no confirmation of redundancy, Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran says.

I understand that mediation talks between Silver Farms and the union representing 160-180 meat workers from Mosgiels Silverstream meat processing plant have not been successful and that a court date has been sought by the union to hear the case for providing them with redundancies.
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Joyces ICT policy woefully inadequate
Posted 3rd Jun 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments ICT policy is just window dressing and is a woefully inadequate attempt to support the industry, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

The Governments plan to fund 350 students in four years time is not enough.

The $28 million in funding is also highly questionable. Just 60 per cent of that money will go to funding students, the rest of it appears to be for flash facilities for Steven Joyce to visit.
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Spectrum deal stifles creativity and competition
Posted 30th May 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
It is regretful that Telecom has been cleared to buy the final lot of 700 megahertz radio spectrum, flagged for fourth-generation mobile use, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The Government could have held back the remaining block of spectrum for later allocation and to provide room for further innovation and creativity in the mobile market.
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Delay in final copper price sensible
Posted 28th May 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Commerce Commission has made a sensible decision to take more time to determine the final pricing for copper-based broadband, Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Getting the copper price settings right for Kiwi consumers and for the long term good of the broadband industry is one of the most critical tasks faced by the Commerce Commission this year.
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Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
Posted 14th Apr 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus appeal of the High Courts ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

Chorus appeal is a waste of time. The company is behind schedule already on the ultra-fast broadband roll-out. It needs to get on with the job of connecting Kiwis to ultra-fast broadband.
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Key ducks but cant avoid High Court slap
Posted 10th Apr 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The High Courts slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commissions lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labours associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

John Key was forced today to effectively rule out any further threats of legislating against the final Commission decision expected at the end of the year due to lack of support from coalition partners, a concerted push from the tech industry and a consumer backlash.
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Give up Chorus leave it to ComCom
Posted 8th Apr 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Three cheers for our court system in confirming the law which gave Chorus three years to prepare for a changed copper price, says Associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The Government is now in the embarrassing position of having the High Court uphold the law it passed almost four years ago after Chorus went to court to try to have the initial pricing decision set aside .
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Chorus stitch-up a backdoor bailout
Posted 11th Mar 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government has today strengthened Chorus monopoly in the fibre rollout and effectively handed it a backdoor bailout with taxpayers money, Labours associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Yet another dodgy deal has been stitched up today. Chorus is under financial pressure after the Commerce Commissions ruling on the price of copper broadband. Crown Fibre Holdings was told to flesh out a deal with Chorus. The result has been a backdoor bailout.
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Govt must rule out Chorus throttling internet speeds
Posted 24th Feb 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
Crown Fibre Holdings must not let Chorus degrade its copper broadband service to cover the cost of its ultra-fast broadband roll out, Labours associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The Chorus half yearly announcement today said the company will, move its business model towards full cost recovery and utility-style operation. That means its either going to charge retailers more or run down its copper broadband service so people have to switch to ultra-fast broadband.
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Copper price bottom line is cheaper broadband
Posted 17th Feb 2014
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Commerce Commission should reject Chorus offer of its own pricing analysis to speed up the final decision on copper prices, Labours Associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

This is an issue of trust and Kiwis are already wary of Chorus. The company does not have a great track record for efficiency or competence when it comes to rolling out the ultrafast broadband network.
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Crown Fibre to sort out Mr Fixits Clusterfix
Posted 5th Dec 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
National is running a seat-of-the-pants government by re-negotiating the $1 billion UFB Chorus contract on the basis of a verbal briefing, Labours associate Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Ernst and Young was called in to analyse Chorus financial position. Labour supported a full and independent forensic analysis. But rather than completing and releasing a full accounting of the companys position, Ernst and Young has only provided a verbal briefing to the minister.
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John Key caught out on Chorus
Posted 3rd Dec 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Key has been caught out today in making misleading statements on the Chorus debacle, Labours associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

A Goldman Sachs report from November 2011 reveals that at least one financial analyst predicted the wholesale price of copper would fall and provided an estimate for smaller Telcos of $8.47 per month which was significantly less than the final price of $10.92 a month announced by the Commerce Commission.
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Govt must reveal the whole truth on the state of Chorus
Posted 29th Nov 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government must provide an absolute and full release of the Ernst & Young Chorus report without any sanitisation of the findings, says Labours Associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

And it has to be the whole financial truth and nothing but the truth.

Amy Adams must be open with the people of New Zealand over the real state of Chorus books. She is under great scrutiny over how she deals with the Chorus crisis and needs to act with the utmost transparency and integrity.
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Labour to write to Commerce Commission on spectrum sale
Posted 20th Nov 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour will write to the Commerce Commission to ask that it prioritises a competitive mobile market, which has been put at risk by Amy Adams decision to sell down the 4G spectrum, says Labours associate Communication and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Amy Adams decision to auction the remaining 4G spectrum will cause long term harm to New Zealands mobile market, enshrining the dominance of one player and taking the country back to the bad old days of the 1990s. She is repeating the mistakes made by her predecessor Maurice Williamson when the then National Government favoured Telecom.
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International expert should undertake Chorus financial probe
Posted 13th Nov 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
An international expert should be brought in to conduct the independent assessment of Chorus financial position, Labours associate Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

This Government has a history of using inquiries as whitewashes to provide cover for a course of action already determined, or to hide crucial information which may not reflect well on the Government.
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Adams must accept ComCom decision tomorrow
Posted 6th Nov 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Key and Amy Adams must accept the Commerce Commissions recommendations on copper pricing as any other steps will be nothing more than crony capitalism and corporate welfare, Labours associate Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

John Key said in the House that Amy Adams will reveal the Governments response to the Commerce Commissions final decision on copper pricing tomorrow.
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Adams reassurances on TICs bill ring hollow
Posted 30th Oct 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government is trying to pull the wool over Kiwis eyes regarding the expanded powers of the GCSB, Labours associate spokesperson for communications and IT Clare Curran said today.

Claims by Communications Minister Amy Adams that the Governments second spy bill (the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill or TICs) does not change definitions to capture a wide range of ICT organisations, doesnt expand the Bureaus powers and is simply updating the rules of surveillance, are nonsense and disingenuous.
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Unsold spectrum should not be re-auctioned to highest bidder
Posted 30th Oct 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government must put a genuinely competitive mobile market above all other considerations when deciding what to do with the unsold 700 MHz spectrum, Labours associate Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The 700 MHz spectrum auction announced today appears to have been somewhat of a claytons auction as everyone has paid the same minimum price, leaving Vodafone and Telecom with the lions share of the auctioned spectrum, and 2 Degrees as the lesser player in this critical market.
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Members Bill would insert a checks and balance measure into controversial spy bill
Posted 23rd Oct 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The lack of checks and balances in the two spy bills pushed through under the National Government have left New Zealanders without the crucial independent oversight to ensure that surveillance laws are not being used wrongly, Labour said today.

As a result, Labours associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran has introduced an amendment to one of the spy bills which creates a Technical Advisory Board to act as a buffer against the GCSB and a Government minister exercising surveillance powers with no independent scrutiny or accountability.
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Sky TV gets slapped with a wet bus ticket
Posted 8th Oct 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Sky TV has got off extremely lightly after the Commerce Commission found its previous contracts may have breached the Commerce Act, said Labour Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi and associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Sky TV is a monopoly broadcaster so it is extremely concerning that the Commerce Commission has found it may have entered into contracts that reduced competition, said Kris Faafoi.
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Kiwis better off without copper tax Mr Joyce
Posted 23rd Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Steven Joyce is telling porkies by claiming savings from an axed copper tax would not be passed onto consumers, Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

On Q&A this morning Steven Joyce tried to claim that consumers wont see any difference whether the copper tax comes in or not, as ISPs will not pass on savings. Thats completely wrong.
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Serious questions remain over copper tax
Posted 18th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Serious questions remain over the copper tax, including what was said by the Chorus chair to John Key and what risk, if any, there is of the company going broke, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The copper tax campaign is putting real pressure on the Government. When under pressure this Government shuts up shop and big questions are left unanswered. This time, the Prime Minister appears to be digging a big hole.
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National must listen to copper tax campaign
Posted 16th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
National must listen to the widespread opposition to Amy Adams copper tax that will give $600 million to shareholders in Chorus at the cost of New Zealanders broadband bills, Labours Finance spokesperson David Parker and Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said.

Nationals copper tax on broadband is yet another blow to Kiwi families and our economy. It adds another $150 a year to bills, for which they get nothing extra, says Clare Curran.
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John Key out of touch on copper tax campaign
Posted 13th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Keys claim that a $600 million copper tax that is set to be imposed on Kiwi families is nonsense shows just how out of touch he has become with the concerns of everyday New Zealanders, Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Kiwi families are struggling with the high cost of living and low wages. The last thing they need is an extra $150 a year added to their household bills. Especially when they get nothing for it and the only winners are Chorus shareholders.
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National must listen to copper tax campaign
Posted 12th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
National must listen to the widespread opposition to Amy Adams copper tax that will give $600 million to shareholders in Chorus at the cost of New Zealanders broadband bills, Labours Finance spokesperson David Parker and Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said.



Nationals copper tax on broadband is yet another blow to Kiwi families and our economy. It adds another $150 a year to bills, for which they get nothing extra, says Clare Curran.
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Govt shutting down more bad broadband news
Posted 6th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT


The Government quickly stepped in to make sure Transfields paid its subcontractors in an attempt to stamp out more bad news about its ultrafast broadband programme, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

The Government is right to demand subcontractors who are believed to be owed between $5 and $10 million from Transfield for laying out broadband fibre will get paid, but cracks are appearing in the fibre roll-out.
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Adams must extend 4G spectrum sale timeline
Posted 5th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments sale of the 4G spectrum is too rushed, giving companies just eight weeks to prepare bids for the auction, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The sale of the 4G spectrum is a real opportunity for the country. We need to get it right. Amy Adams is rushing this for no reason other than to meet her self-imposed timetable of getting the spectrum off the books by the new year.
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Adams must act to get Chorus workers paid
Posted 5th Sep 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams must step in and ensure that people working on the taxpayer funded ultra-fast broadband roll out get paid and that the sub contractors who pay them are not left in the lurch, Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Hundreds of workers laying out broadband fibre around Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Nelson and Rotorua have not been paid for weeks. They have been told by Transfield Services, which contracts directly with broadband networks Chorus and Ultrafast Fibre, that they wont be paid until October.
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Govt back down hailed by software industry
Posted 29th Aug 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments back down on the Patents Bill yesterday will boost the prospects for a new digital economy, Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

After years of pressure from Labour and the software industry National was forced to compromise on the Patents Bill by excluding software development from being able to be patented.
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Chorus: Corporate welfare despite high profits
Posted 26th Aug 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Chorus continues to pull off its sleight of hand after posting a $171 million profit today while asking for $100 million a year in corporate welfare from the National Government, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Chorus sure has chutzpah. It posted a higher than expected profit yet it insists it needs a bailout from the Government to roll out the taxpayer funded ultrafast broadband scheme.
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Households facing Government imposed copper tax
Posted 9th Aug 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Almost 80 per cent of New Zealand households will be hit with what is effectively a copper tax as Amy Adams provides a corporate welfare hand-out to Chorus, Labours Communications and IT Spokesperson Clare Curran says.

That is despite Chorus recording one of the highest dividend pay-out to shareholders this year.
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National acts for its Chorus mates, not Kiwis
Posted 7th Aug 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
National has given its mates at Chorus a huge windfall by proposing to keep the price of copper broadband at the more expensive level of fibre broadband, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Amy Adams announcement today is outright government interference. It is price-fixing to suit its mates at a cost to consumers. She has essentially let Chorus set the price for copper broadband so that their fibre broadband is not undercut. Her decision today could breach international law and certainly breaches New Zealands regulatory framework.
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Minister has fingers in ears over telco spy law
Posted 1st Aug 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams refusal to acknowledge industry and public concern about her telecommunication spy law demonstrates wilful ignorance, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

There has not been one submission in support of her Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill, Clare Curran says.
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Creative and internet industries should review copyright
Posted 25th Jul 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
New Zealands creative and internet industries should instigate a review of copyright laws, given the Government appears to have abandoned a commitment to hold such a review this year, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Our internet industries and consumers are currently saddled with out-of-date copyright law and that wont change under this Government.
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Govt caves in on Computers in Homes
Posted 2nd Jul 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Pressure from Labour and community organisations has forced the Government into a u-turn to restore funding for the popular and important Computers in Homes programme, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

National has been backpedalling furiously since Labour revealed that $1.7 million had been cut from Computers in Homes a vital programme for boosting digital literacy.
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Telecoms join chorus against GCSB bill
Posted 26th Jun 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Key must explain why the GCSB needs expanded powers to spy on New Zealand citizens when major telecommunications companies are opposed to the move, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

John Keys claims that his new spy laws dont expand the powers of the GCSB were directly contradicted by New Zealands major telecommunications companies in a select committee hearing today.
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Spy crisis deepens: Key must front
Posted 12th Jun 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Nationals spy laws must be halted until it is determined whether the privacy of New Zealand citizens is being breached by the United States, with the blessing of John Key, Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The Australian Government has announced an inquiry today into the privacy of its citizens in the digital environment amid growing community alarm about the revelations of a massive surveillance programme run by the US National Security Agency.
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US privacy concerns too close to home
Posted 10th Jun 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Revelations that the US equivalent of the GCSB has been routinely monitoring US citizens phone calls, texts and social media activity impacts directly on Kiwis, says Labours Communications, IT and Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran.

The National Government is currently pushing two new laws through Parliament that would give the GCSB and other agencies here, more powers to spy on Kiwis.
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Why the delay for Key to block Huawei?
Posted 6th Jun 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Chinese technology giant, Huawei, is believed to have been blocked from delivering fibre services and equipment on the taxpayer funded ultrafast broadband programme, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

It is believed the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has stepped in to block the company from the government-led broadband initiative.
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Harsh cut to computers in homes will hit Kiwi families
Posted 4th Jun 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The number of struggling Kiwi families with school age children that benefit from the Computer in Homes programme will be more than cut in half because of Budget cuts, says Clare Curran, Labours Communications and IT Spokesperson.

Funding for the long-running scheme has been slashed by $1.7 million this year, meaning about 1000 families will miss out. Some of the programmes will probably have to shut down entirely.
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Foss forced to concede defeat on patents
Posted 9th May 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Craig Foss has been forced into a humiliating back down over the Governments software patent system following months of hard work behind the scenes from the IT industry and the Labour Party, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Last year Craig Foss gave in to patent lawyers and multinational software players and sought to impose a software patents system on our IT sector. He overrode the advice of the Commerce Select Committee that copyrighting software would smother innovation.
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Orcon sale smacks of short-term thinking
Posted 15th Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The sale of the state-owned Telco Orcon is shrouded in mystery and appears to be yet another example of short-term thinking by this Government, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The Government is duty bound to tell the New Zealand public how much Orcon has been sold for. It was an important investment by Kordia and the return on that investment should be public knowledge.
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Collins cyberbullies whistle-blowers
Posted 10th Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Judith Collins has resorted to labelling whistle-blowers as hackers and burglars in a desperate attempt to distract from her culpability in failing to protect Kiwis personal information, Labours Communication and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Judith Collins is behaving like a cyber-bully and attacking whistleblowers, all because she wrongly refused to admit anything was wrong with the Ministry of Justice website.
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Labour alerts Justice Ministry to gaping security hole in its website
Posted 9th Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labours Information Technology spokesperson, Clare Curran, has today alerted the Ministry of Justice of a serious security flaw in its website.

The vulnerability leaves the personal and financial details of tens of thousands of New Zealanders potentially exposed, and might allow a malicious person to redirect payments to and from members of the public.
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Security flaw left 63,000 documents vulnerable
Posted 9th Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Fresh claims that 63,000 Ministry of Justice documents may have been publicly accessible due a serious security flaw in the Ministrys website give the lie to Judith Collins attempts to downplay the problem, says Clare Curran Labours Communication and IT spokesperson.

A second person has this afternoon come forward and said that significant flaws in the Ministry website allowed easy access to more than 63,000 documents via the Tenancy Tribunal section of the website.
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Cyber-bully laws need to be workable
Posted 4th Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government's latest efforts to address cyber-bullying are welcome, but hardly fit with its slash and burn approach to the justice sector, Labour says.

Justice Minister Judith Collins announced the Government will introduce a new law to deal with bullying in on-line forums, including setting up a new agency and allowing complaints to go to court.
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Whats your move now Amy Adams?
Posted 3rd Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Commerce Commission should be praised for rebuffing the Governments smokescreen of a telecommunications review and instead forging ahead with its investigation into copper pricing, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

When the Commerce Commission said it would review copper prices the Government saw a threat to their ultra-fast broadband programme. So they called for a telecommunications review to see off the threat. All thats done is cause greater uncertainty at a time when Telecom is shedding over 1500 jobs.
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Amy Adams is missing in action
Posted 2nd Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Despite countless warnings and breaches exposing the Governments shoddy information security, Nationals Minister in charge of Information, Communications and Technology is missing in action, says Labour MP Clare Curran.

In the wake of the latest series of ICT privacy breaches and the huge number of job losses within Telecom, Kiwis would be forgiven for wondering why the ICT Minister isnt working overtime to get things back on track.
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Labour sends condolences to family and workmates of Eric and Kathy Hertz
Posted 2nd Apr 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour is today sending its condolences to the family, friends and work colleagues of 2Degrees Mobiles Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy Hertz.

The pair are missing, and presumed to have lost their lives after their plane crashed off the west coast of the North Island yesterday.

Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said Eric Hertz led the countrys newest telco with courage and determination during a time of great change in the telecommunications industry.
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Government MIA in Telecom job losses
Posted 28th Mar 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Telecom will cut 1230 jobs by mid-year and the total losses could reach 2300 but the Government is missing in action, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Labour revealed that Telecom would shed up to 1500 jobs last week. Todays announcement shows this was a conservative figure, with indications from within Telecom that 20-30 per cent are to be cut from each business unit. This could take the job cuts as high as 2300.
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Consistent standards good, but keep politicians away from appointments
Posted 26th Mar 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Consistent ethical standards for all forms of media are necessary but politicians should be kept away from appointing complaints bodies and setting terms of reference, said Labours Broadcasting, Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran and Justice spokesperson Andrew Little.

The Law Commissions report The News Media Meets New Media released today recommends establishing a new body to be called the News Media Standards Authority.
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ICT needs industry plan, Joyce wont make one
Posted 22nd Mar 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Steven Joyce must support calls from the ICT sector for a comprehensive industry plan or there will be no way that New Zealand will keep hold of the 1500 skilled workers about to be let go from Telecom, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The telecommunications industry body TUANZ has today called for a strategic approach to the ICT industry. Theyre right. A strategy is well overdue and Labour has long recognised its importance to the economy.
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Telecom to shed up to 1500 jobs
Posted 21st Mar 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Telecom is set to announce the loss of up to 1500 jobs, a move that will send an economic shock through the country, and the Minister responsible for jobs is sitting on his hands, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The ICT sector is strategically important to our economy and is essential to a high-growth, high-wage nation. I have been informed that instead of growth, what we will see is an economic shock with hundreds, perhaps up to 1500, highly skilled workers being put out of a job.
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ICT sector stalled by Foss inaction
Posted 19th Mar 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
New Zealands ICT sector is being held back by Commerce Minister Craig Foss inaction on the Patents Bill, says Labours Communications and Associate Economic Development spokesperson, Clare Curran.

The National-led government is dragging its feet on a law change that would encourage our software industry to blossom, as well as enable smaller international software developers to build their businesses in New Zealand.
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Bleak prospects for sacked Telecom workers
Posted 22nd Feb 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Hundreds of Telecom workers are set to lose their jobs in another blow to the already weak job market, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson, Clare Curran.



Telecoms half year earnings report showed an 8.5% dip in revenue, and warned that the company was looking to significantly reduce its head count.
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New cable blows government arguments away
Posted 19th Feb 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
The new undersea cable between Auckland and Sydney proves the Governments earlier claims that a second cable isnt necessary to increase competition are completely false, says Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran

The new cable utterly blows out of the water claims by the incumbent Southern Cross and the National Government that the one current cable is more than capable of handling future capacity and lowering prices.
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Adams dodgy deals cost Kiwis $400
Posted 8th Feb 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams is taking almost $400 right out of the pockets of Kiwi households with her delaying tactics on the Commerce Commissions suggested price cuts, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.



Amy Adams and John Key are yet again putting their private investor friends ahead of Kiwi families. This law review is a smokescreen cut in a smoke-filled room to save the Government from unethically overriding the Commerce Commission through legislation. Keeping copper prices artificially high only benefits Chorus profits.
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Choose consumers over Chorus, Mr Key
Posted 4th Feb 2013
Filed under: Communications & IT
Choruss deliberate delay tactics with the Commerce Commission are a blow to Kiwi consumers and must be condemned by the Government, says Clare Curran.

Choruss submission to the Commerce Commission signalled it will request a full review of the costs of its copper broadband services, potentially delaying a ruling that could affect services to consumers and the profits of other telecommunications companies.
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Young learners losing out
Posted 19th Dec 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Some of our youngest learners are losing out thanks to the Governments lack of progress in closing the digital divide, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

As we head into 2013 the contrast between children who have access to technology at home and in school, and those who do not, is of increasing concern.
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Amy Adams puts Chorus before consumers
Posted 12th Dec 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams has put the interests of Chorus and telcos ahead of consumers with her extraordinary statement that a drop in wholesale costs wouldnt be passed on to Kiwi households, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

A Ministers role is often one of basic advocacy. As Minister of Communications, Amy Adams priority should be getting telecommunications costs down for Kiwi families, not acting in the interests of telcos and Chorus.
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Keys Commerce Commission threat cheats households out of $12 a month
Posted 11th Dec 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
John Key is determined to ensure New Zealand households bills are $12 higher a month with his threat to overturn the Commerce Commission if he doesnt like its broadband rulings, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The Commerce Commissions draft ruling on broadband did not meet with the approval of John Key and Amy Adams. Thats because it proposed swinging cuts to Chorus charges that its estimated would reduce the average households bill by $12 a month.
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Good call by telco on data roaming rates
Posted 10th Dec 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The horrendous data-roaming costs to Kiwis travelling overseas just got a lot more affordable with a welcome announcement from Telecom for a flat daily rate in some major destinations.

Todays announcement by Telecom that it will charge a flat daily data rate for customers travelling overseas is not before time and demonstrates a renewed commitment to Kiwi consumers, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson, Clare Curran says.
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Chorus comfy but consumers lose out
Posted 3rd Dec 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
New Zealand consumers have come off second best to Chorus following the Commerce Commissions decision on what the main telco network operator can charge for its phone lines, says Labours spokesperson for Communications and IT Clare Curran.

The Commerce Commissions ruling would see the price the telco can charge for its phone lines fall from its current average of $24.46 a month to $23.52, ultimately stifling new investment and innovation in the market.
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Bill establishes Special Inquiry into data breaches
Posted 15th Nov 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Electronic Data Safety Bill will establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into the spate of disastrous data breaches across government, says Labours Communications and It spokesperson Clare Curran.

The huge data breaches at MSD, ACC and IRD are an information omnishambles for the Government. They are incapable of applying basic security to our private information.
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Catastrophic failure hits Southern Cross cable
Posted 9th Nov 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
A catastrophic failure has struck the Southern Cross international internet cable, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Labour has learnt that a catastrophic failure at Southern Crosss Alexandria landing station occurred this morning due to an unauthorised and un-notified software change to their wavelength switching platform, which blew up.
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Government has fingers in its ears on international fibre connections
Posted 5th Nov 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour is challenging the Government to open its ears to the concerns New Zealands business community has regarding internet capacity and the need for a second fibre cable.

Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said todays proposal by Kim Dotcom to back a second cable requires more analysis, but is worth consideration.
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Chorus deal doesnt go far enough
Posted 1st Nov 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments new deal for ultra-fast broadband connections is of little use as it will expire before most New Zealanders get a chance to be connected, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

I want to see a deal that helps New Zealanders access ultra-fast broadband but todays doesnt go far enough. This package expires in 2015 and most New Zealanders wont have access to ultra-fast broadband by then.
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Should ComCom have more teeth?
Posted 30th Oct 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Consumers could be the big losers after the Commerce Commission rubber-stamped Vodafones purchase of Telstra Clear, says Clare Curran.

The Commissions approval of the deal leaves just two major players in the market and that could result in higher prices for consumers down the track. The approval is further confirmation that issues of market competition arent getting the level of scrutiny they deserve.
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Kordia sends 50 more Kiwis to the dole queue
Posted 25th Oct 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Another 50 Kiwis will join the ever-lengthening dole queue after todays announcement by state owned enterprise Kordia that it will outsource its Auckland call centre, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

Orcons 50 Auckland call centre positions will be outsourced to Manila, as the company integrates its two New Zealand telecommunications businesses, Kordia Networks and Orcon.
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Dotcom bungles being watched closely in USA
Posted 23rd Oct 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The New Zealand Governments bungled handling of the Megaupload case is being watched closely by United States law enforcement agencies and what they see isnt pretty, Labours communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

Curran has just returned from a three week US State Department-funded study tour looking at the American perspective on intellectual property enforcement.
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Full independent inquiry needed into Govts handling of Huawei
Posted 9th Oct 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government must launch a full independent inquiry into the Governments handling of Chinese company Huaweis share of the $1.35 billion ultrafast broadband rollout after reports the United States Congress accused the company of bribery and spying, says Labours acting Communications and IT spokesperson David Cunliffe.
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Labour amendment looks to fix patent loophole
Posted 11th Sep 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour has moved to combat an ambiguously worded Government amendment to the Patents Bill which would effectively stifle New Zealands important software sector.

Labours ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said it had tabled an alternative amended clause, aimed at clarifying the intent of the legislation, which is to exclude software from being patentable.
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Consumers need more clout in telco sector
Posted 10th Sep 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Todays decision to fine Vodafone New Zealand almost a million dollars for breaching the Fair Trading Act should be a lesson to telcos to stop duping consumers, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

The message from the Commerce Commission is that if you knowingly mislead the consumer you will get caught and it will cost you.
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Clueless Minister stifles software sector
Posted 3rd Sep 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
NB: select ctte report link here

Our growing innovative software industry has been dealt a cruel blow which will compromise and stifle its potential, says Clare Curran, Labours communications and IT spokesperson.
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Cyber bullying must be dealt with intelligently
Posted 15th Aug 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Cyber-bullying must be addressed so that the internet can be a more enjoyable community for everyone to be involved in, says Labours Communications spokesperson Clare Curran.

Cyber bullying is all too common in the virtual world, and more needs to be done to address the problem. It is important people, and children in particular, are free to enjoy the internet without fear of bullying and intimidation.
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Price questions over Pacific Fibre failure
Posted 3rd Aug 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Amy Adams must show how the cost of ultra-fast broadband will come down now that the collapse of Pacific Fibre has ruled out international competition, says Labours Communications spokesperson Clare Curran.

Ultra-fast broadband could be a great boost to families and businesses but only if the price is right. Pacific Fibres failure to get investment ensures theres no real prospect of international competition, despite the Governments hopes, and that means the retail price is likely to be high.
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Govt in damage control over Pacific Fibre
Posted 2nd Aug 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Government has failed to get an estimate of the economic cost to New Zealand as the result of the collapse of the Pacific Fibre cable deal, says Labours Communications and IT Spokesperson Clare Curran.

This shows the government hasnt a clue how important price competition for international connectivity is for the success of its ultrafast broadband scheme.
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UFB prospects on the skids?
Posted 1st Aug 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The likelihood of ultrafast broadband delivering new services and opportunities to Kiwis anytime soon has become much less likely following todays news that a second international fibre cable wont proceed, says Labours Communications and IT Spokesperson Clare Curran.

The Government promised New Zealanders a step change to the economy through fast broadband in their homes, schools and businesses and a super information highway.
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New Zealand going nowhere ultra-fast
Posted 19th Jul 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
National's flagship ultra-fast broadband service is delivering nothing as New Zealand languishes half way down the OECD ladder for broadband subscribers, says Labours communications spokesperson Clare Curran.

"National is spending over $1 billion on ultra-fast broadband but our take-up hasn't improved. New figures today show we are at stuck at 17th in the OECD despite National making ultra-fast broadband a flagship programme. We are going nowhere ultra-fast.
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Govt telco commissioners appointment may be illegal
Posted 4th Jul 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
The Governments decision not to re-appoint Dr Ross Patterson as Telecommunications Commissioner may be illegal and a huge embarrassment for the government, Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

The Government had clearly signalled it wanted to get rid of Dr Patterson who has maintained a strong independent role as the watchdog for the important telco industry.
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'Ultra-slow Broadband' isn't what kiwis were promised
Posted 28th Jun 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Three-and-a-half years after taking office, the National Government has managed to connect only 1012 households to its much trumpeted ultrafast broadband scheme, says Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

This is less than 1 per cent of its target of 75 per cent of households within 10 years, Clare Curran said.
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Igloo deal signals weakening of Com Com
Posted 16th May 2012
Filed under: Communications & IT
Labour today warned that the reluctance by the Commerce Commission to challenge the growing market dominance of Sky TV was a weakening of its role to defend a competitive market, for the benefit of New Zealand consumers.

Labours Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran, said todays decision by the Commerce Commission to approve Skys Igloo joint venture deal with Television New Zealand, allows Sky to further entrench its place as the dominant pay TV provider.
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