12 Nov 2010
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2degrees worried about rural duopoly

In what looks to be the final statement of the day about this morning’s Telecom and Vodafone partnership, 2degrees has come out singing a slightly different tune.

TelstraClear and Gen-i quickly saw the opportunities offered by such an alliance and began seeing dollar signs while thinking of the services they could offer on the back of the network.

2degrees says it’s interested to see how questions about the best interests of customers and use of public money are answered.

Chief Executive Eric Hertz said he wants assurances that public funding will lead to a real choice for rural customers, “rather than simply creating a ‘high speed’ version of the mobile duopoly New Zealanders lived with for so long”.

Hertz continued, “Without public funding, none of the mobile operators would be considering fast rural broadband investment. We need to make sure that funding sees more than two players competing equally and vigorously for rural customers’ business.”

Hertz says history has proven how well New Zealand mobile users fare when competition is left to the incumbents.

“That’s why the detail behind promises of open access is so important," he said.

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