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Ed Sheeran

Talks with Māori to ease 5G release

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Broadcasting and Communications Minister Kris Faafoi says he won’t be able to release details of the first allocation of 5G spectrum until the Government has worked with Māori to address radio spectrum-related Treaty of Waitangi issues.

He expects to hold an auction of national rights to 5G spectrum in the 3.5 GHz (gigahertz) band early in 2020.

The previous National Government refused to allocate a 4G spectrum to Māori, instead creating a $30 million fund for Māori to use on digital technology projects.

Claimants were unhappy with that and want the crown to abide by earlier findings by the Waitangi Tribunal and the courts that Māori are entitled to a share of the spectrum.

Mr Faafoi says New Zealand is keeping pace with other countries on the roll out of 5G.

He says national spectrum rights will open the door to higher connection speeds and greater network capacity, while regional providers will be key to helping rural communities access higher quality wireless broadband.









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