Just received:

The Commerce Commission has today released the second of three issues papers relating to the uptake of high speed broadband ahead of a public conference in February 2012. The paper is in two parts and examines the potential demand for high speed broadband from the education and health sectors.

The paper was prepared by Ernie Newman, former Chief Executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand.

Key conclusions reached in the paper include:
  • There is already significant demand for connectivity in schools from students who use their own devices to do school research online, for social media and multimedia purposes, and for other educational purposes. This demand will increase as many schools require students to use school-provided devices as part of lessons. 
  • High speed broadband will open up opportunities for innovative ways of teaching, the revitalisation of rural schools, and better learning outcomes for all students – especially those who struggle with traditional teaching methods. 
  • New Zealand teachers are becoming as well qualified as those in comparable countries in the era of e-learning. Teacher training institutions will have to take a leadership role to ensure that New Zealand keeps pace with comparable countries. 
  • The health sector has yet to maximise on the transformation opportunities that the internet can deliver. Online Shared Care Records for every New Zealander by 2014 will significantly increase demand for high speed broadband. 
  • Initial demand from the health sector for high speed bandwidth is likely to come from District Health Boards, medical practices, pharmacies and related health services. Consumer demand will pick up later as people become more accustomed to using the internet to help manage their health and wellness.
Today’s paper follows a technical issues paper published on 19 December 2011. A final discussion paper will be released in February which will look at consumers’ willingness to pay for high speed broadband, and at content and applications.

The Commission encourages interested parties to comment on the issues papers either directly to the Commission by emailing telco@comcom.govt.nz, or via social media sites relating to the demand-side study: LinkedIn, Twitter (@FutureBroadband) and Facebook.

You can view a copy of the discussion papers on the Commission’s website at: www.comcom.govt.nz/high-speed-broadband-services-demand-side-study


Ernie Newman is the former Chief Executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and heads Ernie Newman Consulting Ltd.

The Commission is carrying out a high speed broadband services demand-side study to identify and inform on any factors that may impede the uptake of high speed broadband services in New Zealand. A copy of the terms of reference for the study can be found at: www.comcom.govt.nz/high-speed-broadband-services-demand-side-study

The study is conducted under Section 9A of the Telecommunications Act 2001, which empowers the Commission to conduct inquiries, reviews and studies into any matter relating to the telecommunications industry for the long-term benefit of end-users of telecommunications services within New Zealand.

The Future with High Speed Broadband: Opportunities for New Zealand conference will be held on 20 and 21 February 2012 in Auckland. Attendance is free and you can register at: www.futurebroadband.co.nz

The timeline for the high speed broadband services demand-side study is below.

19 Dec 2011 Publication of Technical Issues Paper
24 Jan 2012 Publication of e-Learning/e-Health Paper
7 Feb 2012 Publication of Willingness to Pay/Content Paper
20-21 Feb 2012 The Future with High Speed Broadband: Opportunities for New Zealand Conference
9 April 2012 Publication of the Study Draft Report
4 May 2012 Due date for submissions on the Draft Report
28 May 2012 Publication of the Study Final Report