Please save New Zealand's copper landline phone system

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To:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters

and

All Members of Parliament who care about New Zealanders’ health and the future of our country

Our copper landline phone network is in danger.

The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill that was reported back to the House on May 4 and now awaits its second reading is a bill that endangers the health of New Zealanders because it includes a clause* that allows for the piecemeal destruction of New Zealand’s copper landline phone network.  

New Zealand’s copper landline infrastructure has been built up over many decades and provides a vital lifeline in the event of emergencies because a corded phone connected to this system will usually function even when a house has lost power.

The copper landline system also allows New Zealanders to have safe corded phone – the type of phone that is NOT associated with increased risk of brain (and other) tumours as is the case with cellular or wireless phones.  (See: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/the-cellphone-cancer-link-is-real-and-is-a-key-reason-why-landlines-are-so-important/ )

Submissions made on the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill  by members of the public were overwhelmingly in favour in preserving the copper landline system but these submissions were essentially ignored. (See: http://www.saveourlandlines.nz/news/kiwis-alarmed-at-govt-proposal-to-destroy-landline-infrastructure/

The select committee considering submissions on this bill was presented with evidence that at least one major Telco operating in NZ (Spark) has signalled its intention to move internet customers who are considered to be low – medium data users from the copper landline system to wireless internet – even in areas where fibre is available. (See: https://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/609604/spark-abandon-copper-fibre-wireless-broadband/ )

Such a policy would deprive many ordinary New Zealanders of the ability to have a safe, hardwired internet connection.

The committee chose to ignore this fact.

The committee also chose to ignore evidence provided by New Zealand researcher Dr. Mary Redmayne (PhD).

Dr Redmayne’s area of expertise is electromagnetic radiation and health.

She informed the committee about how New Zealand’s National Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF) and NZS 2772.1:1999 provide only very limited protection (from electric shocks and burns) rather than comprehensive health protection. (See: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/submissions-and-advice/document/52SCED_EVI_74818_1091/dr-mary-redmayne-supp-4

As a nation, to ignore the advice of independent scientists (such as Dr. Mary Redmayne and others**) who can provide independent advice about the health risks of wireless technologies invites a public health catastrophe. 

Longer term exposure to wireless devices such as cellular phones and their infrastructure is associated with serious health outcomes for which our already strained public health system is ill prepared to cope.   

(For evidence of the risks from radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range that is produced by wireless devices such as cellular phones, cellular phone towers, wi-fi routers etc. please see this link  http://www.bioinitiative.org/table-of-contents/ of the BioInitiative website which is the initiative of an international coalition of doctors and scientist.)   

The copper phone network is an important asset that has served and still serves New Zealand well.  It provides people with the option of having a safe, corded phone and low cost hardwired internet connection.  

The copper phone line system is NOT obsolete or redundant.  It is a valuable asset that deserves to be protected not scrapped. 

We ask that you withdraw the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill    and ensure that it undergoes thorough revision so that it ensures that the copper landline phone system is protected and remain accessible to New Zealanders at an affordable price.

Thank you.

 

 

*Clause 69AA and sub clauses of the of the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Bill allows for copper to be withdrawn from parts of New Zealand that have been designated as “fibre areas”. (See: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0293/latest/whole.html#DLM7393528 )

 

** The Director of the International EMF Scientist Appeal (Elizabeth Kelley) sent a submission on behalf of this organisation.  Their website is www.emfscientist.org



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