Rants, Raves, Reviews

Government Backtracks on Digital Strategy Targets

By Gary R, in , posted: 8-Aug-2007 10:04

Well, well it seems there is a bit of a back peddle in the corridors of power. When Labour initially released its Digital Strategy document in 2005 (?) the number one goal and stated target was this:

'To achieve upper quartile OECD broadband performance by 2010 through policies promoting competition and economic development'

Reading the Herald today I couldn't help but notice this comment from Mr Cunliffe:

New Zealand ranks 22nd out of the 30 countries in the international
broadband ratings. The Government aim is to bump the country into the
top 15 within the next three years....

"We can and will do better," he said, "but broadband is available to
the vast majority of New Zealanders. Our target in the Digital Strategy
is to be in the top half by 2010."

There is huge difference between being in the upper quartile (top 7) and the upper half (top 15). If the target has now changed then someone from the appropriate ministry needs to amend and update the official Digital Strategy. At the same time reasons need to be given as to why the target has been revised. The government needs to come clean and admit that the target was unrealistic in the first place. A case of over promising and under delivering.

And here is another little nugget from our very own Minister of Inconsistency:

"The biggest mistakes of previous regimes were to privatise Telecom without
an effective regulatory framework in place, then for the previous National
government to rely on light-handed regulation and not demand appropriate
information disclosure.

"This Government has mounted nothing less than a revolution in telecommunications
in this country," he said.

This is hilarious, has Mr Cunliffe forgotten that Labour sold off Telecom for $4.2b? Therefore the blame for not implementing an 'effective regulatory framework' in the first place must belong to Labour. Pointing the finger at National is a joke.

Mr Cunliffe is quite correct when he states that his government has mounted a 'revolution in telecommunications'. A Bolshevik revolution but without the guns.




Other related posts:
The Butler and Butler 5 Point Plan
National to invest in broadband
We Blew our cap again

Comment by TinyTim, on 8-Aug-2007 11:04

Jama, this cropped up in the unbundling announcement a year ago. Take a look at the cabinet paper - para 13 (retyped because the paper is a scan):

"New Zealand's current Digital Strategy target is to reach the top quartile of the OECD in broadband uptake by 2010. A wider and more achievable target is for telecommmunications services, including advanced broadband services, to be in the top half of the OECD by 2010, with the trajectory of overall broadband perforfmance tracking to reach the top quartile by 2015."

I think if you look at the supporting docs to the stocktake you'll find they conclude it's impossible to get top quarter by 2010.

Author's note by Jama, on 8-Aug-2007 11:21

Thanks Tim for pointing this out. The government needs to update and amend their Digital Strategy website... rather than losing the translation in cabinet papers.

Comment by lugh, on 8-Aug-2007 11:51

One to note there Jama... the Minister of Inconsistency has certainly gotten a bit further than Minister of Sitting-On-His-Thumbs Williamson. Hopefully, we lose him as the ICT representative before the Nats get back in.

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