Can Rural NZ be Part of the 'New Economy'Sunday, Jul 2, 2000
The Telecommunications Enquiry has presented an opportunity for rural people to show their frustration
and concern about the poor delivery of the telecommunication services in rural areas.
The cavalier way, in which the enquiry has accepted that 5 percent of Telecom customers will not receive
adequate service and that this is an acceptable service level, is even more alarming when it
is realised that this 5 percent equates to all rural subscribers. In these confused times when economic
theory is turned into a marketing mantra, user pays is a convenient escape for corporations
who accept the privileges but none of the responsibilities of operating services that are in the
"public good" arena.
Cross subsidization has always been the basis of development of roading, power and communication services
under the various local body and P & T Acts pre deregulation in the 1980's. The fact is that
was how the se services were established. Whether it is the drive for corporate profit or the selfishness
of a now economically dominant urban society, rural NZ is being left out of the "new economy"
if the wrongs contained in the Telecommunication enquiry report are not rectified.
I hope the grass is growing at your place and you are benefiting from this mild winter.