A New Zealand consumer group has criticised a report commissioned by the country’s three main telcos which says that there is no need for the government to go ahead with its planned NZD1.5 billion deployment of a next generation national broadband network. The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (Tuanz) says that the three operators – Telecom NZ, TelstraClear and Vodafone – are putting their own interests ahead of the nation’s need for a high speed internet backbone. The government announced plans last year to deploy a national fibre network which would take broadband connectivity to around three-quarters of the population, but the telcos say that they are the ones best placed to deploy new infrastructure. ‘By setting the objective of getting fibre to 75% of New Zealand homes [the government] is taking the right step, as this ensures that the technological base for all future advances is in place and accessible to all providers, thus ensuring a genuine competitive market,’ said Tuanz chief executive Ernie Newman. ‘The government is on the right track. Absolutely nothing should change as a result of this report,’ he added.