Rants, Raves, Reviews

National to invest in broadband

By Gary R, in , posted: 22-Apr-2008 14:20

The National Party has today announced that it will invest $1.5b to drive the roll-out of a 'fibre to the home' network which will deliver much faster broadband. It has been variously estimated that $5b of investment would be needed to give NZ a truly world class broadband network and that no single telecommunications company would have pockets deep enough to go it alone. The announcement by National is a large up front incentive that also shows that the next government does believe that faster broadband will have a positive impact on our economy.

National has outlined 5 principals for investment:

The network being open-access, ensuring the investment does not see already-planned investments cut back, ensuring increased broadband services, and making sure we do not end up lining the pockets of incumbent industry players.

It is good to see National taking a stand on a subject greatly politicised by our current inept leadership. So, while Labour continues to rip the balls out of Telecom (and its share holders) National has taken the lead and given this country a broadband direction. Ironically, with this announcement, National would be able to take NZ into the upper quartile for all OECD broadband indicators which was something Labour had aspired to but never achieved.

I am sure Cullen and co will announce a $1.6b investment tomorrow.

I will leave you with this recent comment from Mr Cunliffe which dismisses NZ needing government investment to build a high speed network:

"We've turned the regulatory system on its head, we're negotiating a groundbreaking deal with Telecom around operational separation, and that's going to lead to an unprecedented level of investment."

You are correct Mr Cunliffe, the 'unprecedented level of investment' is going to come from the National Party.

Other related posts:
The Butler and Butler 5 Point Plan
We Blew our cap again
When you blow your broadband cap

Comment by KiwiOverseas66, on 22-Apr-2008 16:35

Good comment jama. I agree - a government that talks about substantive investment instead of new legislation is a refreshing change.

I can't really understand why the current policy makers are unable to comprehend that the endless conveyor belt of legislation isn't going to do the job on its own. Faster broadband means more technology, more powerful technology - and that means cash. There are only two sources for that - private sector investment or taxpayer funding. And in NZs case - we're too small to have the luxury of having an either/ or debate - we need both (private sector and government investment).

Comment by sbiddle, on 22-Apr-2008 16:42

As long as John can still give me my tax cut since Helen & Michael won't!

Comment by maverick, on 23-Apr-2008 12:15

What KiwiOverseas66 said

Comment by Alexis, on 23-Apr-2008 14:14


I work in the telecommunication area, and i know for a fact! Labour is doing more than National when it comes to freeing-up Telco networks and getting faster internet.

Labour is working with Business and Community groups on getting Fiber-Optic broadband (FTTN) out to all homes by 2010... does National have time frame?



Author's note by Jama, on 23-Apr-2008 16:01

Are you serious Alexis?

Labour's Digital Strategy is just piss and wind. The only winner is Vodafone who will pick up market share at the expense of Telecom.

Comment by KiwiOverseas66, on 23-Apr-2008 16:24

LOL - Alexis, who here on this forum doesn't work in the industry! Freeing up Telco networks??? Sounds like a direct quote from a parliamentary press release! Regardless of what laws are put in place the technology/ services have to be paid for. Granted - the current govt has been horrendously busy - but introducing legislation to promote competition and encourage investment - is not the same as fronting up with the cash (which is what the national party is committing to).

PS - thanks mav! (my invoice is in the mail...)

Comment by maverick, on 23-Apr-2008 17:17

What KiwiOverseas66 said again .......seriously this is the Government opps slip of the tongue there must be looking into the future here (if I could just pick the Lotto Numbers now) making a bold and courageous incentive to the Telco environment..Bring it on I say & lets support them

Comment by zonky, on 24-Apr-2008 09:40

I wonder how long before a party wakes up and realises that this sort of investment is a total waste of time without effective regulation of the untoched monopoly, souther cross cable?

Comment by Alexis, on 24-Apr-2008 12:35

Well I beg to differ. Also do you remember the National Government in the 90s? NZ could have had this fiber achieved far earlier!

Labour had plans with telecom in the very early 90s to upgrade the telecom network. However once National won the election! Guess what! National saw no future in the policy!

Comment by KiwiOverseas66, on 25-Apr-2008 16:55

Well.....if the govt wanted to regulate Southern Cross they would have to find a way of taking control of foreign companies since its registered in Bermuda and Telecom is only a part owner (50 percent). I think the last government to do that was in Cuba (oh hold on - Zimbabwe talked about nationalising foreign banks this year).

They could invade Bermuda I suppose......its a pretty small group of islands and I'm sure there would be no shortage of volunteers from the armed forces for a sortie on a tropical island (pick me, pick me.....). ;-) Seriously - if tomorrow someone decided to introduce a new service in NZ and it was the only one - do you ban it or regulate it because its a one of kind? Telecom, Optus, verizon don't control the oceans so anyone is free to build their own submarine cable - so its not a question of why NZ only has one major fibre link - its why other companies are not rushing to build more (think about it).

Author's note by Jama, on 26-Apr-2008 10:19

Scooter - lay off the drugs! It was Labour who sold off Telecom to Ameritech and Bell Atlantic in 1990 for $4.5b.

By the way both Helen Clark and Michael Cullen voted to privatise Telecom

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