Prime Minister Helen Clark said she felt like a "country cousin" after seeing a communications display in South Korea last year. In February she told Parliament that faster and cheaper internet was "a matter of urgency".
What Helen Clark didn't mention is this:
As well as deregulating the Telecoms sector the South Korean government provided US$2b in funding for a new high capacity backbone. At the same time they also provided soft loans totally around USD$1b to address the rural sector
South Korea has population of around 48,000,000 so this equates to an investment of around USD63.00 per head of population.
The NZ government would need to invest around NZ$432M to match the Koreans. Is this going to happen? I don't think so.
South Korea started down this path in 1995. No wonder NZ is so far behind.
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Comment by juha, on 4-May-2006 09:29
You're quite right that the government has been extremely tardy - it was naive of them to hope that Telecom would come to the party by itself. However, there has been funding made available to Telecom, like most of the PROBE money and the TSO levies. Didn't help though. The new package contains funding options to build alternative infrastructure which while late, is better than never. No doubt Telecom will get some of that money as well. We've got lots of work ahead though...
Comment by juha, on 4-May-2006 13:14
No, much more than that. From a response by Trevor Mallard's office: "I can confirm that a total of $47 million was budgeted for Project PROBE, but I am not prepared to release information regarding the project's funding per provider and region at this time."
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