Received this just now in my inbox (Richard Woods from InternetNZ was actually sitting next to me in the convention centre lobby when he sent this out):

InternetNZ awards research project to Network Strategies

Media Release - 13 August 2008

InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) is pleased to announce that it has engaged Auckland-based Network Strategies to produce a report assessing broadband strategy options for New Zealand.

This follows an RFP process begun in June, which attracted 10 respondents.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson congratulates Network Strategies and notes the quality of all the responses to the RFP was high. "We chose Network Strategies because of the breadth of its experience across engineering, finance and economics."

The first stage of the project will include discovery, scoping and literature review leading to recommendations for the focus of Stage Two, which will result in a final report later in the year.

"There continues to be considerable public debate on New Zealand’s broadband strategy,” says Davidson. “This follows significant announcements earlier this year by political parties and the release of the NZI Institute report. Questions remain as to the best path forward for increasing broadband penetration for both business and consumers."

"Network Strategies will look at all the models already proposed locally and investigate international experience. InternetNZ is aiming for a report that will both inform public debate and provide pragmatic advice for proceeding."

Dr Suella Hansen, Director and Founder of Network Strategies, notes that these local models reflect the high level of public interest in this issue. “We are delighted to be an active and valued contributor to the debate on broadband strategy for New Zealand,” she commented.

“Investment in high-speed national broadband infrastructure will be essential for our ongoing economic development as well as enabling consumers to participate as full members of the digital age.”

In April 2008, The New Zealand Institute released a discussion document (Delivering on the Broadband Aspiration: A Recommended Pathway to Fibre in New Zealand) containing a considered and costed roadmap as the first part of a proposed project for New Zealand to “develop a fast path to fibre to capture the economic benefits”.

National Party leader John Key’s Leader’s Speech (Achieving a Step Change: Better Broadband for New Zealand) of 22nd April 2008 flagged a political intention to invest “up to $1.5 billion of Crown capital over six years to accelerate the roll-out of a fibre-to-the-home network for New Zealand”.

The Labour-led Government’s Broadband Investment Fund was released as part of the budget on 22 May 2008, pledging $325m of operating spending to support rollout of broadband Internet infrastructure on a contestable, technology-neutral basis. The Fund includes $75m specifically set aside for rural broadband issues.

InternetNZ released its RFP for the research and analysis of broadband strategy options for New Zealand on June 30, 2008. Network Strategies was selected from 10 respondents.

About Network Strategies
Network Strategies works at the forefront of the telecommunications revolution, delivering advice and insight to operators, manufacturers and governments. From offices in Auckland, London, Melbourne and Wellington, Network Strategies staff provide strategic consultancy to clients throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America, offering a complete global outlook on key issues affecting all players in the telecoms sector.

For further information contact:

Keith Davidson
Executive Director

Dr Suella Hansen
Network Strategies