Flip Flop from Curran but it's a good one

Just last week Clare Curran was berating Matthew Hooton about a single sentence in a press release where he said that he had had positive meeting with Labour MP’s over the Mobile Termination Rates. She stated that Labour didn’t have a position and those MPs only had personal views.

So it is some relief that the Labour Party and Clare Curran have settled their differences with independent commentator Matthew Hooton and now released their position on MTR, supporting regulation. Their press release says;

The Government should put consumers first and regulate mobile termination rates to keep call costs down, Labour spokesperson for communications and IT Clare Curran said today.

?High mobile termination rates are a barrier to entry for new players in the market, which leads to less competition and higher prices,? Clare Curran said.

?While Vodafone and Telecom have now offered to lower termination rates by around 80 per cent, it still does not go far enough to reduce the major issues for new entrants.

?This is also the view of Commissioner Anita Mazzoleni who in the recent split Commerce Commission report on termination rates said: ?? the consequence [of voluntary undertakings] is that mobile termination rates?will remain significantly higher than the Commission?s benchmarks during the five-year period ? and remain higher at the end ? . In my view,?the barrier arising from the?prices ? continues to ensure an uneven playing field, and this will impede the benefits competition will otherwise deliver to New Zealand consumers?.

?It is clear that a voluntary agreement will keep the rates considerably higher than they would be under a regulated outcome,? Ms Curran said.

Now it is up to Cardinal Richelieu to adopt the minority position and send the message to Telecom and Vodafone that their bung, dodgy networks should be protected anymore. I am normally not in favour of regulation but in this instance regulation is actual deregulation you have went you don’t have deregulation. Well done to Clare, it is a testament to her negotiating abilities to get the Labour caucus to agree. It can’t be long before she is promoted to Deputy Leader when Annette King slides off into retirement.

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