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business-headerOn Tuesday I took part in my first Moxie Session. This is a discussion group run by Hayden Glass, it looks at how New Zealand can take advantage of the internet.

One of the questions asks “will fibre broadband transform New Zealand?”.

My answer is a qualified yes. There’s a tipping point somewhere. We need a critical mass of users and this must include residential users as well as businesses.

However, to get residential users on board, the network needs high-quality entertainment content. That’s difficult because Sky TV controls most of the top material.

New Zealand’s politicians don’t seem to have the political will to tackle that road block.

There’s a broader problem with the way the government has broadcasting, telecommunications, business development, health and education in separate ministries.

Getting the benefits of fibre means making policy across those boundaries. We need a need a fibre champion at the cabinet table who can cut through those barriers to create a comprehensive joined-up strategy to make sure the nation’s fibre investment kick-starts the economy.

There’s more to using a fibre network to boost activity than “if you build it they will come”. The build part of the project is underway, now we need to focus on getting the public on board and turning fibre into gold.


3 thoughts on “Fibre’s power to transform NZ

  1. One of our conclusions when we looked at fibre is that it’s supply side driven.

    Simply if there is more, we use more.

    For example. If you don’t have fibre you don’t (really) use Apple TV. When you get it, you do.

    Once you’ve tried skype video, you use it. If multiparty skype works for you, you use it. If hi-def would work you’d use that – and quadruple your bandwidth usage.

    I’m always surprised when people say they can’t see the benefits. Those of us exporting and working with teams globally run up against obstacles every day. Calls that drop out and frustrating team meetings. If we had more we’d immediately be 2-5 times more effectively selling globally.

    The market needs to be shifted to bandwidth is abundant, not a constraint. Then we can really get things humming.

    • I agree.

      This means service providers need to come up with a better way to price products than today’s restrictive data caps or constrained all-you-can-eat plans.

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