NZ government is concerned about Telecom outage

Von Juha Saarinen

New Zealand"s Minister of Communications, David Cunliffe, says he continues to believe last week"s nationwide Telecom New Zealand Ltd. network outage was a "freak occurrence" but rejects suggestions that he is not concerned about the outage or that no Government action is planned.

In a written response to a Computerworld article published Monday, Cunliffe says he has repeatedly stated that New Zealand"s telecommunications infrastructure is of "crucial importance" to the country.

"I have stated publicly that the outage was a freak occurrence and I continue to believe that," Cunliffe says. "That does not imply I am not concerned about the issue.

"I have repeatedly stated that our telecommunications network is of crucial importance to the economy. Last week"s outage was a very clear demonstration of just how crucial it is."

Cunliffe says he has asked his officials for advice on how the Government can work with industry to ensure the network is as robust as possible, and also intends to write to the Telecommunication Carriers" Forum to ask how the industry can maintain crucial infrastructure reliability.

"When I have in front of me advice from officials and from industry I will make a decision on the most appropriate course of action."