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Have Net-Interconnect Fees Really Been Nixed? 12 October 2000 Edition
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Yesterday morning I received a call from Ross Inglis, the guy at Clear who keeps the media informed. He told me that the news media were labouring under a misconception in respect to the matter of interconnect revenues for Internet calls.

According to Mr Inglis, interconnect revenues are still alive and well, and Clear are honouring their contracts with free ISPs to ante-up with their share of the money.

The misunderstanding has come about, I was told, because the interconnect fees have become a part of the monolithic settlement under which Clear will pay Telecom $35 million over the next 12 months to cover interconnects plus many other fees and costs.

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I guess I can see how Mr Inglis is able to justify the stance that interconnect fees are still alive and well -- but I'll be trying to get Telecom's spin on the matter later today just in case they see it differently.

It is also interesting to note that free ISP i4Free seem to be worried about something. Worried enough to take a big ad in today's Herald so as to promote a letter to Dr Cullen pushing the case for a Telecommunications Regulator to be appointed.

I tell you what -- the push for a "new economy" can't be hurting the NZ Herald's ad revenues any. It appears that you're nobody these days unless you've aired your views by way of a honking great newspaper advertisement!

It Must Be True -- I Read It On The Net
It has become increasingly apparent in recent times that a growing number of people have become disillusioned with the quality and depth of news coverage provided by our traditional broadcasters and publishers.

Television news comes under consistent fire for being shallow and dumbed-down to meet the needs of people who are simply too tired to change the channel while waiting for The Holmes Show or The Nanny to screen.

Newspapers are not immune to criticism either. Even the most prominent NZ Newspaper, the NZ Herald is seemingly subject to the occasional display of bias and inaccuracy. Witness this story published earlier in the week in which it is stated:

"Military-style semi-automatic weapons - used in mass shootings here and in Australia - are already banned from coming into New Zealand, and those already here can be sold only to the Government."

In my opinion this is a disgraceful example of bias and bad reporting unbecoming of a news publisher with the pedigree and reputation of the Herald.

Why was Australia mentioned? Could it be solely in order to use the word "shootings" instead of "shooting"?

A little research by the reporters concerned would have also revealed that it's still quite legal for holders of E-category firearms licenses to buy and sell their MSSA rifles providing the transaction is registered with police. One can't help but get the impression that this piece was perhaps ghost-written by the anti-gun lobby.

However, I'm afraid that if you're planning to turn to the Internet for a higher quality of reliable news you're going to be out of luck.

Most online news sites are reliant on the same sources as their print and broadcast peers but also suffer from the pressures associated with having to compete with hundreds of other news sites all trying to be "first" with a story.

Then, as Bill Gates will tell you (see the news-link below), there's always the chance that what you read has been posted by a hacker and bears absolutely no relation to the truth.

That Draft Paper On The New Economy
Thanks to all those who have already contributed their comments, critiques and suggestions to the draft paper on fostering a "new economy" I've published on the politics.co.nz website.

Surprisingly enough I've had several emails from citizens of other countries including the USA, England and Australia who have all said that such policies wouldn't go astray in strengthening their own "new economy" activities.

If you've not yet voiced your opinion then please tell me what you think.

Thanks also to those who have sent emails acknowledging that I've contributed some help to their own "new economy" enterprises. I could do with more -- remember that I want to be recognised as someone who's doing his best to stimulate this new economy and not just as a critic of existing policies.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request