Finance Minister Michael Cullen delivers his ninth budget on this afternoon, there is talk about good things for the internet.
webcast on the the Parliament website here. (only quicktime and Mediaplayer, I want my flash tv)
Replays will also be available on the Parliament site http://parliament.nz
And the GOVT went down, could it be the load or the loading of the new infomation.
Quote from speech:
Roading and rail are crucial means of communication. So too, and of growing importance in a modern economy, is telecommunications.
Following the privatisation of Telecom, New Zealand’s performance in this respect has been mediocre, not world-leading. Recent regulatory changes and subsequent agreements between the Government and Telecom provide a basis for shifting to a much higher level of performance, especially with respect to high speed broadband connection.
It is important that any further Government intervention in that respect bears in mind four criteria.
The first is to ensure that the priority is on the extension of such services to the business and the farm so as to underpin increasing productivity.
The second is to ensure that a stronger competitive environment is encouraged, rather than entrenching an incumbent monopoly.
The third is to lever the maximum private sector investment in relation to any taxpayer investment or subsidy.
And the fourth is to ensure any programme does not lock us into particular technological solutions.
Over recent months the Government has spent considerable time looking at various options to achieve the policy goals in a way which is consistent with those criteria.
In particular, the option was canvassed of a substantial capital investment. This was rejected as likely to lead to an inadequate level of private sector leverage and the chilling of competition.
Instead, the Government has opted for a total package of over $500 million over five years as the first stage of a ten year programme.
The largest part is the new Broadband Investment Fund which will be used to accelerate broadband investment in three critical areas:
• facilitating high speed broadband to businesses and local authorities, universities, schools and hospitals in urban centres
• extending the reach of broadband into underserved regions, and
• improving the resilience of New Zealand’s international connections.
The fund will involve a contestable process designed to maximise competition in the sector. The criteria are based on open access and are neutral to technology. The fund should assist investor certainty and give the best possible leverage for the taxpayer's investment.
The Government will also spend at least $160 million over the next five years on connectivity in the health sector, the education sector through the KAREN network, and through the Government Shared Network. We will aggregate demand to speed deployment and ensure efficient use of broadband.
And to Mr John Key, they did address carbon tradeing.... Quote "Labour’s vision is for a sustainable nation, and Budget 2008 builds on work already underway to help New Zealanders use our resources wisely, and protect our precious natural environment. Sustainability is at the heart of a range of policies, including the Fast Forward Fund, the water programme of action, the Emissions Trading Scheme, the renewal of rail and many others."
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