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The Standard

Freeview, SkyTV & IT

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, October 9th, 2013 - 88 comments
Categories: broadcasting, capitalism, democratic participation, internet, labour, telecommunications - Tags:

Freely available, no or low cost broadcasting, media and communications are essential for democracy to thrive.  NZ’s broadcasting and digital communications policies, provisions and regulations are failing to measure up. Cunliffe’s Labour has at least twigged that broadcasting and digital communications policies need to be inter-linked in the 21st century context.  NZ’s policies on both need major restructuring.

As an Aucklander with easy access to UHF Freeview, I hadn’t realised how unprepared many parts of NZ are for the analogue TV switch off in December.  Some places in NZ can’t receive Freeview Terrestrial via a UHF aerial, so they need a Satellite dish to get it.   But you don’t get all the same channels on both platforms.  And it all costs money to install.

Tim Selwyn does a (totally understandable) rant about it here, and about the related commercial profiteering and manipulation of digital communications by largely overseas corporates.

 Last week we learnt that the Mediaworks restructure has ran into Fox playing hardball in making them take all of their product.  Forcing America up our arses.  And Vodafone this week have announced their TelstraClear cable system will link up with Sky to coat-tail on the government’s UFB fibre subsidised roll-out (which is itself a back-door subsidy to the Telecom corporate hydra).

This is what happens when the core service is diluted: the government’s mates start creaming it.  This is market manipulation.
The conclusion is that FV is designed to be less.  FV is planned to be shit.  It’s shit so that Sky looks good and so that Igloo – the connivance between Sky and TVNZ – can exist in the crawl space between subscriber and free-to-air television and circumvent the Commerce Commission kicking their arses.  It’s shit so it assists the uptake of the government’s fibre roll-out.  It’s all a massive have.
Cunliffe’s Labour has linked broadcast TV and Communications & IT in his shadow cabinet line up.  Chris Trotter has done a rant about, what he calls, Labour’s non-existent broadcasting policy as led by the novice Kris Faafoi. In contrast, Danyl Strype lays at a more comprehensive approach to 21st century broadcasting, and unlike Trotter, shows an understanding of the place of broadcasting in the 21st century digital age.

Chris [Trotter] does tip his hat to the rising influence of the net, but it’s essential to the rest of his argument to downplay this:

[…]

If Broadcasting were still as important as Chris suggests, why did newly-elected Labour leader David Cunliffe toss it to a junior colleague, while taking the ICT portfolio for himself? I’d say it’s because he knows that regardless of the statistics on where most people currently get the “news of the day”, most people my age (“Gen X”) rely on carefully chosen sources on the web to inform us about the world. For our children, going to the Net for information is as normal as watching the TV news was for us as children. In the coming decades, television will still have its place, as radio did during the reign of television, but particularly as the UFB kicks in, Broadband will continue to replace Broadcasting as the virtual public square.

A joint press release yesterday by Clare Curran (Associate Spokesperson Communications & IT) and Kris Faafoi (Broadcasting, Associate Communications & ICT), indicates Cunliffe understands that broadcasting and ICT policy need to be strongly linked.  They are rightly critical of the ruling on Sky TV’s anti-competitive practices.

Sky TV has got off extremely lightly after the Commerce Commission found its previous contracts may have breached the Commerce Act, said Labour Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi and associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Sky TV is a monopoly broadcaster so it is extremely concerning that the Commerce Commission has found it may have entered into contracts that reduced competition,” said Kris Faafoi.

Sky should consider itself extremely lucky today. The ruling is a cop out from the Commission. A monopoly as powerful as Sky should not be able to get away with uncompetitive behaviour. It is a kick in the guts to consumers.

“The Commission appears to have decided not to take any action because a case would cost too much and take too long. That’s not good enough. It should do its job as a regulator,” said Kris Faafoi.

“The Commission claims that Sky’s monopoly in the content market has not created harm. Tell that to the Telcos and broadcasters. They have said for a long time that barriers to content deals with providers such as Netflix and Hulu are preventing the growth of the industry which will drive uptake of ultra-fast broadband,” said Clare Curran.

“If for no other reason the Government should be worried that future ultra-fast broadband content deals may be constrained by the Commission’s inaction.

“The Commerce Commission should take this to the next level, which is an inquiry. If there have been breaches they should be dealt with. If the Commerce Act needs an overhaul then Labour will consider it.

Cunliffe clearly sees this an important are for Labour policy development, as he has given himself the role of spokesperson for Communications and IT.

I will be looking to see how these linked areas of policy are developed under Cunliffe’s Labour.

In the meantime, Freeview and internet connections are failing to achieve the coverage, accessibility, quality and standards required for widespread democratic engagement in NZ.

 

88 comments on “Freeview, SkyTV & IT”

  1. Tracey 1

    I am currently paying skytv 68 a month to not have sky… we moved temporarily while our house is repaired sky told me if I disconnected completely they would charge me heaps for starting afresh.

    so I pay to not have it until I want it again… and no isky access.

    its a bloody monopoly

    • infused 1.1

      Poor you.

      It’s only a connection charge, unless you use mysky. If you’ve moved, you’d have to pay for a dish install anyway.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        idiot.

        temporary move. am moving back.

        As usual you miss the point.

        Been with sky since 1989. Loyalty counts for nothing, they can fleece because there is nowhere else to go. and so they do.

        • Ron 1.1.1.1

          If you have broadband or better you can watch any sky programmes that you subscribe to via ISky

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Can always complain to FairGo. Also sounds like you may be in Christchurch, so you may have access to Telstra Cable – probably Sky are still getting a good profit off that, though.

    • David H 1.3

      Tracey.
      You can use Isky on your Laptop. I do all you have to do is set it up and Sky will help you with that. I know this is not the same as having full Sky but at least you can get some of your 68 bucks back. Or you cancel it and get around the ‘install rort’ by using their friend get friend promo, and that gets you both $100.00. It’s not perfect but it may help you out,

      http://www.skytv.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=563

  2. Whatever next 2

    …and if the government prefers to stifle democracy?

  3. captain hook 3

    the present tory government is operating a two tier system of democracy.
    you can only get parliament on tv if you are plugged into the same aerial as the pay per view network.
    now that is not democratic in anyones book.

    • karol 3.1

      What’s the pay per view network, and how does it affect getting the rest of Freeview?

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      “now that is not democratic in anyones book.”

      ???

      So you want to have two separate aerials or satellite dishes, do you?

      It’s simple economics to used shared resources where possible.

    • David H 3.3

      No Captain Hook Parliament TV is on Freeview, on Both The satellite, (Sky) and UHF Ariels. But I also have a dedicated Freeview satellite Dish as well

      http://www.freeviewnz.tv/tv-guide.aspx

      [lprent: unescaped. I wonder what is the hell is causing this?]

      • David H 3.3.1

        WTF …. This has happened twice now after using the Editor.

        But I was saying that Freeview Carries Parliament TV on both the Sat dish (Owned by Sky? But just left on all houses) and also the old UHF ariels But there were also dedicated Freeview dishes.

        http://www.freeviewnz.tv/tv-guide.aspx

  4. King Kong 4

    I can see the labour party electoral broadcasts now –

    (cue sinister music with a close up of a young Maori girl with a tear stained face)

    narrator: There are people in New Zealand who are going without…being left behind.

    Unlike most of us, they dont know who Daenerys Targaryen is. They never witnessed Walter Whites ingenious heist of methylamine from a freight train. They weren’t there when the All Blacks beat the Spingboks at Ellis park nor did they see Don Draper so eloquently pitch to Kodak. They can’t even laugh at the english words that pop up on Te Karere or cringe at the awfulness of New Zealand made comedy.

    These are the people who refuse to pay for a television subscription and under a Labour government they won’t have to.

    This message is endorsed by the NZ Labour Party, spending other peoples money on stupid crap since 1916.

    • karol 4.1

      What part of “democratic participation” don’t you understand?

      Other people’s money? *Yawn* I’m sure you have the fallacy of that explained to you, but you prefer not to understand.

      • King Kong 4.1.1

        Tell them to buy a cheap radio.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          Cake with that?

          • King Kong 4.1.1.1.1

            Who the hell can’t afford a radio?

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh. really. You are advocating a very lesser service for those on low incomes. You are advocating social inclusion.

              Your equivalent to let them eat cake.

              BTW. Your point about the ABs at Ellis Park?

              In Aussie such sporting events must go free to air.

              I didn’t watch it, because the replay didn’t come on til after I left for work on Sunday – forgot to record it. Knew the result anyway by the time I left for work.

              Rugby use to be a national sport that united people – now it divides. Who cares? Sky killed it. Sommet Sport could be interesting.

              You have ignored the major issue of Sky’s un-competitive practices.

              • Tracey

                in many countries so-called major sporting events go free-to-air. This came before parliament (I think) some years ago but was not passed into law.

                equally I understand tvnz used to buy programmes it never intended to air just so tv3 couldn’t have them.

              • King Kong

                If you want more competitive practices then move to a bigger country with a bigger population.

                There are benefits and disadvantages to living in a small place like NZ.

                Anyway, once this online, on demand thing gets a head of steam up Sky will have to pick up their game.

                • felix

                  You really are a nasty piece of work, you and the corporations you represent. Coming to our country, upturning all of our systems, gutting our institutions, and then saying if we don’t like what you’ve done, leave.

                  Bunch of cunts, the lot of you.

              • I remember quite clearly in the mid 90s being told – over the radio – by some NZRFU bloke that anyone who thought that Sky getting contracts to televise rugby games would somehow lead to All Black tests being unavailable on free to air TV was just being ‘hysterical’. Tests would “always” be available, he claimed.

                He said that during the effort by opposition MPs to get the law to specify just this. Complete betrayal – but, of course, Sky did very nicely out of it, thank you very much.

                So much so that someone like King Kong can now derogate people who don’t buy access to TV with the claim that “These are the people who refuse to pay for a television subscription“. KK would presumably attack the same people if they did buy such a subscription with money that needed to be spent on exorbitant power bills, exorbitant rent, etc..

                The expansion of the large corporate market into public (and private) areas of life almost always begins with the ‘thin end’ of a very fat wedge; an initial move that is defended by dissing as over-reacting hysterics anyone who can see where it is going and where it will end up.

                This is the tactic of the current government, too. Just ‘a little’ efficiency here, a bit of a tidy-up there – nothing radical you understand?

              • David H

                By the look of it Sommet Sports is only on the old UHF system. So Sky may/must have kept it away from the Satellite system.

                http://www.freeviewnz.tv/tv-guide.aspx

      • Sosoo 4.1.2

        Democratic participation is a joke. Look at the local body elections.

    • bad12 4.2

      KK, the ad has already been done, by Slippery’s much televised McGeon Close TV ad prior to the 2008 election,

      The Shyster hand in hand with a young Maori girl, ”If you want to keep your children at home instead of flying off to OZ”, what a fucking fraud that turned out to be, strangely enough a template for the fraud that is this Slippery lead National Government,

      Why would anyone ‘laugh’ at English words occasionally being used on Te Karere, OK a dickhead like you would,

      There are 2 schools of thought among Maori scholars of the language when it comes to modern English words that have no obvious translation into Maori,

      One is to coin a new word in the language and the other is simply go with the English word, Te Karere obviously chooses to in such instances use the English word….

    • QoT 4.3

      they dont know who Daenerys Targaryen is.

      • David H 4.3.1

        Well I enjoy Game of Thrones, Yes the Dragon lady, leader of the Unsullied.

        And it’s Daenerys Stormborn Of the house Targaryen

  5. Treetop 5

    I recently spoke with a man in his mid 80s who has freeview and can only watch TV 1. The reason for this is because of having difficulty with using the TV and freeview remote. I told him to ring the person who installed the freeview to tune in the other channels.

    This got me thinking; the governments package through Hills allows a year back up advisory service. If you require assistance with viewing after a year a cost would be involved.

    It is not good enough that an elderly man who has to use a scooter is reduced to viewing only one channel because there is not a free number for them to ring to get assistance. Elderly people also get dementia and loss of sight, this would compound the problem.

    I do not know why no one designed a remote where all you have to do is change the channel and use the on off button on the remote or TV. Two remotes are confusing even for me.

    I had a problem when I used the TV to change the channel and not the freeview remote, all I got was a disconnected transmission (grey/white snow) I managed to fix this myself.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “because there is not a free number for them to ring to get assistance”

      Our team is available 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
      Call us: 0800 FREEVIEW (0800 373384)

      Admittedly this isn’t obviously posted on the freeview website, I had to do a small modicum of digging. But I’m sure the mailouts would have had this phone number on them – I recall seeing 2 or 3 of them in the lead up to the switch.

      “Elderly people also get dementia and loss of sight, this would compound the problem.”

      Not to be flippant, but someone who is losing sight isn’t likely to have a big use for the TV. Same goes for someone with dementia – in the case of my grandmother, she stopped watching TV because there was “nothing on that interested her” – actually she couldn’t follow what was happening.

      • Treetop 5.1.1

        I will pass on the number.

        I have trouble reading the captions and the volume is getting louder and louder, nothing a hearing aid and a new glass script won’t fix. Some evenings there is nothing on TV.

      • Naturesong 5.1.2

        You are being flippant.

        My grandmother suffered from vascular dementia near the end of her life.
        The ability to complete the cryptic crossword, a morning ritual for over 60 years, was the first to go. Then the normal crossword became too much of a struggle.
        Eventually, even soduku puzzles became too difficult.

        What my grandmother was still able to enjoy, after her mind had been so comprehensively blunted, was watching the tennis on television.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Not sure how “FV is less” when it’s more than I’ve ever had in the past.

    • karol 6.1

      It’s less if you can’t receive it.

      It’s got less public service broadcasting than it used to have. Face is about to go, and TVNZ7 is no longer.

      I like Freeview terrestrial, especially with myfreeview. But not everyone can get and/or afford that. It updates the channels on its own, but may be confusing for some elderly people.

      I don’t mind waiting til after a series has run on Sky until I see it. I find many of the dramas I want to watch are on at the same time, and/or late at night. Myfreeview helps with that and skipping through ads.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Right, so “less” than analogue TV. Well such is the price of progress.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Huh?

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            Analogue TV is being killed so the very valuable spectrum can be used for other things, such as new cellphone networks.

            • karol 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nevertheless, it should have been possible to do the analogue switch off, while ensuring everyone could get freeview at a reasonable price.

              It’s been hi-jacked by profiteers.

              • Treetop

                Do you know what the cheapest option is to get basic coverage?

                Sad that it has come down to requiring a not for profit organisation to fund coverage for 2 – 3 % who are not on the grid yet, post the 29 September 2013 switch, probably due to cost.

                Just going from place to place can be a problem when an outside aerial is required.

                Do you know if an outside aerial is always required?

                My aerial is a couple metres from the footpath and it would not be hard to nick.

                • karol

                  I have tried an indoor UHF aerial, and the reception has been poor – clear but frequent interruptions of reception, and need to shift the aerial for each/most channels.

              • Lanthanide

                “Nevertheless, it should have been possible to do the analogue switch off, while ensuring everyone could get freeview at a reasonable price.”

                Not everyone has been able to access the free to air analogue stations, either. In fact, with freeview by satellite now an option, some people may now get access to stations that they’ve never before had.

                But yes, having to pay $$$ for a satellite dish/receiver etc is a bit on the rough side. The government could have put more money into this for disadvantaged groups, and consequently jacked up the minimum price on the spectrum auctions to cover it.

              • Lloyd

                The value of the frequencies that will be auctioned off after analogue TV stops should be enough to pay for a decade or more of freeview.

            • felix 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “Analogue TV is being killed so the very valuable spectrum can be used for other things, such as new cellphone networks.”

              Use our public airwaves for a publicly owned cellphone network? Excellent idea!

              Oh I see, you just meant more private profiteering. Carry on.

              • weka

                It wouldn’t be so bad if the telcos would actually free up the cellphone network. Someone might be able to tell me why vodafone can offer free calls to landlines or cellphones from a mobile for a capped monthly fee, but is still charging $20 or $24/GB for broadband while fixed line broadband is now so cheap. That’s outright profiteering and is the same shit that Telecom used to take NZ from being world leaders in internet provision a decade ago to the dismal situation we have today.

                • Lanthanide

                  “Someone might be able to tell me why vodafone can offer free calls to landlines or cellphones from a mobile for a capped monthly fee, but is still charging $20 or $24/GB for broadband while fixed line broadband is now so cheap.”

                  Sure. It’s because cell phone calls use very much less data than web-surfing or other data usage does. Also customers see the primary purpose of a cell phone as being to make calls/texts, so it’s priced differently. There’s ultimately a capacity problem as well: cell towers work on a broadcast methodology, where there’s only so many people who can be connected to each tower at once. Prices are set at a level to ensure demand doesn’t exceed supply: if cell phone broadband was as cheap as fixed broadband was, a lot of people would probably just use their cell phones, which would cause a huge demand increase on the cell network that it currently cannot support, which would in turn require more hardware to be installed, which costs money, etc etc etc.

                  Also most phone calls in NZ stay within NZ, which is why they’re cheaper compared to international phone calls. But most (?) data used on cell phones would probably be international, which is more expensive to telco’s, whether you’re on a fixed broadband line or a cell phone.

                  In short: cellular broadband is a significantly much more constrained resource, based on a few factors, compared to home broadband, hence why it costs more.

                  • weka

                    Except that both call and broadband mobile is pretty consistent pricewise across the country and yet telcos have had difficulty keeping up with the demand in some places, mostly due to fast uptake of smart phones etc (which they could have forseen). So the idea that price is set to constrain use as a way of balancing supply and demand makes sense in theory but doesn’t appear to be what the telcos are doing in practice.

                    Vodafone’s new Red Plan appears to contradict what you are saying too – it’s a straight out attempt to get bulk upgrading to smart phones and transferring to vodafone. It looks like it’s also targeting people that don’t want a landline anymore. The end result being an increase in usage. Whether vodafone increase their network capacity to keep up remains to be seen (they’ve fucked this up before).

                    And why not just put in more cell phone towers to increase capacity and eventually lower broadband prices? Because they can’t squeeze quite as much profit out of NZ that way. Like I said, internet is being held back in NZ by telco practices, not for the first time.

              • Lanthanide

                “Oh I see, you just meant more private profiteering. Carry on.”

                The government is the one selling the spectrum, so the revenue is public money.

                • felix

                  “The government is the one selling the spectrum” to private overseas-owned interests who will milk the fuck out of us.

                  • Lanthanide

                    So perhaps the government should charge an ongoing fee. Ultimately that would just be passed on to the consumer, though.

                    I suppose the only way to do it is to take profit out of the picture. Re-nationalise Telecom?

                    • felix

                      That’d be a start.

                    • Francis

                      The initial cost of the spectrum will be passed on anyways. And what’s to stop some rich foreign company (or even person) from buying up all heap of the spectrum which is being privatised, then leasing it back to the telecommunications companies for exorbitant rates?

                      At least if the government charges an ongoing fee, the revenue (generally) goes into collective public services. The best idea I’ve heard is that the revenue from leasing out spectrum could go directly to public service broadcasting. A heck of a lot better than some foreign company ripping of New Zealand.

      • King Kong 6.1.2

        So few people watch the stations that got shut down that it would probably be cheaper for them to travel around the country and act out their shows live in the lounges of those who are interested.

        • karol 6.1.2.1

          Your callousness and failure to understand how public service broadcasting contributes to democracy is a wonder to behold – but on display for all to see.

          • Rogue Trooper 6.1.2.1.1

            becoming more assertive by the Post 😀 karol

          • King Kong 6.1.2.1.2

            I wonder how much reverence you would hold public service broadcasting in if it wasn’t exclusively run by wet liberals who tend to give carte blanche to left wing propaganda.

            So I am not sure that it is democracy that you are actually lamenting or the free advertising for your team.

            • McFlock 6.1.2.1.2.1

              Hooten’s a left wing propagandist?

              Faboo…

            • Rogue Trooper 6.1.2.1.2.2

              wouldn’t understand propaganda if I heard it. It’s all Chinese to me. 😀

            • karol 6.1.2.1.2.3

              Instead we have a dominance of commercial and pay TV, which mostly, one way or shifts the balance strongly to promoting individualistic unrestrained capitalism.

              That needs to be balanced with more public service broadcasting.

  7. Sosoo 7

    From one of the articles:

    What we actually need is a plethora of independent, publicly-funded media organisations, whose news and current events works are licensed under CreativeCommons.

    No we do not. This is nothing more than a Sisyphean delusion. Hardly anyone would consume the stuff.

    As a number of academic studies have shown, broadening media choice has made those who wish to be informed vastly more informed than they were before, and those who do not wish to be informed, vastly less.

    You can’t make people pay attention to the news, and apart from a minority of us, they generally don’t. There is no cure.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    In the meantime, Freeview and internet connections are failing to achieve the coverage, accessibility, quality and standards required for widespread democratic engagement in NZ.

    That’s because we’re stupidly leaving it to “the market” rather than having a state monopoly provide the infrastructure. If Telecom was still state owned and a monopoly we’d already have FttH across most of the country as the monthly fees we paid would have gone to upgrading the network rather than going into the profiteers pockets.

    • TheContrarian 8.1

      “If Telecom was still state owned and a monopoly we’d already have FttH across most of the country as the monthly fees we paid would have gone to upgrading the network rather than going into the profiteers pockets.”

      Citation needed

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        Well, it seems logical – the only way it would have remained in government hands is if we’d spent thirty years without a neolib regime, so the likelihood of competent governance increases exponentially.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Simple logic.

        Before the sale of Telecom all of the surplus that Telecom had (~$310m in 1990, ~$518m in todays $$$) was being spent on upgrading the network (It’s how we got digital exchanges). After the sale most of the surplus was paid out in dividends instead. If the former had continued then it’s obvious that fibre to the home would have happened as part of the upgrade process – after all, we were already laying fibre to the cabinet in the late 1980s (a lot of which was pulled out in the early 2000s to be replaced by copper which is now being replaced by fibre).

        The pay-out of dividends by Telecom proves, conclusively, the dead-weight loss of profit. The added costs to the country of the other telcos and their networks is proof that competition costs more.

        • TheContrarian 8.1.2.1

          Your “what could have been” doesn’t equate to the sure-thing you bandy about, Draco.

          “The pay-out of dividends by Telecom proves, conclusively, the dead-weight loss of profit.”

          My personal feeling is that, yes – there is a possibility that things could be better or worse had not Telecom been sold as it was. However you have previously said the sale is “proof positive” of having stymied the communications market in NZ and “The pay-out of dividends by Telecom proves, conclusively, the dead-weight loss of profit.” wherein your only evidence is a hunch, your say-so. Which doesn’t count for shit. There is no conclusive proof to be reached when all you are doing is speculating yet you spout it as fact.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.1

            However you have previously said the sale is “proof positive” of having stymied the communications market in NZ

            I have never said that it stymied the telecommunications market. If anything, I’ve said that it stymied telecommunications.

            “The pay-out of dividends by Telecom proves, conclusively, the dead-weight loss of profit.” wherein your only evidence is a hunch, your say-so.

            The evidence is that we don’t have FttH after $17b in dividend payouts (more than enough to do the job), the fact that government has had to step in with billions of dollars of taxpayer monies to get the network upgraded especially in rural areas and that Telecom, if not sold, would have used that $17b dollars to upgrade the network as it was doing before the sale.

            There is no conclusive proof to be reached when all you are doing is speculating yet you spout it as fact.

            That sentence makes no sense.

            The conclusion from the evidence that I’ve given that we’d be better off if we hadn’t deregulated and sold Telecom is inescapable. As I said, simple logic. You just don’t want to believe it.

            • TheContrarian 8.1.2.1.1.1

              “The conclusion from the evidence that I’ve given that we’d be better off if we hadn’t deregulated and sold Telecom is inescapable.”

              No it isn’t inescapable – you are drawing a conclusion based upon what “might” of happened. Which is worth dick all. It is the equivalent of me saying “If I didn’t sell my skateboard 7 years ago I might have practiced and would now be raking in millions as a pro-skater”.

              “Telecom, if not sold, would have used that $17b dollars to upgrade the network as it was doing before the sale.”

              The simple logic you proffer works in your disfavor as simple logic would dictate you can’t make a sure thing based upon your speculation of “what might have happened”. You are drawing, and not for the first time, a black and white picture.

              • northshoredoc

                Haven’t you learned DNFTT !

              • Lanthanide

                If Telecom had been government-owned I’m sure it wouldn’t have been making as large profits for so long. They really milked people through the nose with their slow and expensive broadband for a long long time. If it had been government run, I think the prices would’ve been cheaper = less profit.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No it isn’t inescapable – you are drawing a conclusion based upon what “might” of happened.

                No I’m not. I’m drawing a conclusion based upon what was happening before the sale. It’s reasonable to assume that what was happening before hand would continue to happen.

  9. risildowgtn 9

    Too much rain where I live (Ihakara) leads to rain fade and no reception….. and this is with SKY

    Its all a con

  10. ScottGN 10

    For the first 3 years after I moved to Queenstown I didn’t bother with a tv. The free-to-air reception was poor (the surrounding mountains apparently) and I wasn’t prepared to pay for Sky (not really interested in sport). Mostly I just listened to Radio NZ and Concert FM. Earlier this year Central Otago switched over to digital and my landlord installed a freeview box (we only get freeview satellite so the freeview that’s actually in the tv doesn’t work). I duly trooped along to Noel Leeming’s in Remarkables Park to get myself a telly. Once I’d got over the shock of how cheap they’d become I bought myself a swishy black 32 inch Panasonic HD etc,etc and carted it home. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to look and see if there would be anything worth watching on it. Turns out there isn’t. Happily I discovered that you can get the radio through the freeview too so mostly I just listen to Radio NZ and Concert FM.

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    smiled at the closure in your story. Enjoy the location.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    I’ll need an aerial but I should be able to get terrestrial as I can see the nearest TV tower. I assume I’ll need an outdoor aerial but all that side of the house is pretty exposed and anyway I hate outdoor aerials with a passion (rant rant), are some of these aerials better than others, smaller? easier to manage ?? Any suggestions welcome.

    • karol 12.1

      When I moved a couple of years ago, I found the UHF aerials had got pretty small. I just got a standard one. The guy who installed it said he could point it directly at the tower – excellent reception.

      • RedBaronCV 12.1.1

        Thanks Karol – I’ll brave a store now but maybe not the one whose owner made some crass comments about poor people a while back

  13. xtasy 13

    I made a good comment on Chris Trotter’s post on The Daily Blog, but it was never published. Either Martyn had too many “vodka shots” (late celebration inebriation on Cunliffe winning the Labour leadership contest), oversaw my comment, or disliked some of my criticism.

    I raised this repeatedly, and Karol points this out well, how this present broadcasting establishment in NZ is anything but democratic, is not informing us, is not inclusive, participatory or anything else that should be expected.

    The whole broadcasting and media environment in NZ is even worse than in the US, it is totally dominated and thus controlled by private corporations and interests, by an over-dependence on advertising, and thus “journalists” or “jonolists” are never daring to bite the hand that feeds them.

    Freeview has become a total farce, as we only have the supposed state broadcaster TVNZ (not really detectable from “private” broadcasting, given the focus and advertising), TV3 and subsidiaries, that one Prime TV channel from Sky, Maori TV (also increasingly “advertising”), a number of delayed broadcast channels, two to three Chinese controlled channels, a racing channel, two to three shopping channels, a religious channel and only one alternative, soft commercial focused “Choice” channel broadcast on it. There is Parliament TV that only caters for few, and most the times is off air.

    We have analogue shut down, and FACE, that used to be Triangle, forced to go and broadcast via Sky.

    This is total SHIT for broadcasting for any developed country, and we know that the government wants this, as they favour Sky and private operators, they would ideally do away with all state broadcasting, also Radio NZ, that is the only somewhat independent radio station left.

    I know NO other country in the OECD that has such a weak, useless and over commercialised, compromised and rubbish “public broadcasting” system! Indeed New Zealand shines amongst the players at the very bottom of the list for public broadcasting and the likes. They even have better public broadcasting in many developing countries, even in Chile, than here.

    Key and his sell out mates should be damned ashamed for closing TVNZ 7 and 6 and to also force Stratos off air. This is stuff that dictatorships are made of, and I remain to be convinced that NZ is a kind of commercially focused and dominated dictatorship, where freedom is not held high anymore.

    Sadly most are totally brainwashed numb-skull consumers now, they have no opinion, no view, no ideas, they just follow the trend and put up with all shit presented to them, they adjust and simply try to survive in a crap, dumbed down society, and dare nothing to speak their mind and voice.

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  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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