Govt confirms broadband security threats

The Government has confirmed security threats were raised around New Zealand's broadband scheme, but is refusing to say whether a Chinese company that has been blocked from Australian contracts was involved.

Australia has shut Chinese telco Huawei out of its national broadband contracts following cyber attacks originating in China.

Huawei has signed deals with Enable Services and Ultrafast Fibre Ltd, the Government's private partners for the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) scheme in Christchurch and the central North Island.

It has also signed a contract with Chorus to help roll out fibre lines in the rural broadband initiative.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday said the UFB contract with Huawei began before Australia's action against the company, but he was "comfortable with the current arrangements'' in New Zealand.

Mr Key said issues about Huawei had been raised and considered.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams confirmed today that security threats had been raised in the process of doing the broadband contracts, but would not comment on which companies those related to, or what steps had been taken to ensure security.

"We take security very seriously, but we've obviously responded to the threats that we're aware of and put in place steps to deal with that,'' she said.

"Because it's a matter of security we have to be very careful how we discuss it and it's appropriate we keep that reasonably tightly controlled.''

The minister said she had not spoken to Australia about the steps they had taken with regard to Huawei.

"I'm aware of the action that they've taken and I'll discuss that with my colleagues going forward, but I'm confident that we've treated this matter seriously in New Zealand and we've responded appropriately.''

- APNZ

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