INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt playing dirty pool in spectrum sale

Published: Mon 18 Oct 1999 06:39 PM
"The reckless way in which the Government is proceeding with the radio spectrum auction is typical of a party too long in power," Labour state owned enterprises spokesperson Paul Swain said today.
"Labour believes the 2GHz band should be sold because it is essential to the development of third generation mobile radio services and is therefore vital to Labour's knowledge economy project.
"But we are concerned that a big player might take the opportunity to buy up all the spectrum and warehouse it to lock out competition. We asked for assurances in writing from the Government that procedures would be put in place to prevent this but these have not been forthcoming," Mr Swain said.
"Labour also has strong concerns about the decision-making process around the sale.
"It is inappropriate that the Government should start the auction within two weeks of a general election. And we are far from satisfied that the Treaty of Waitangi issues have been resolved.
"We will be monitoring developments closely because there is a very real chance that it will turn into a shambles which we will have to sort out as incoming Government," Mr Swain said.

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