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Additional investment the key to broadband policy

Media release
22 April 2008

Additional investment the key to broadband policy

National's plan to speed up provision of broadband to most premises is welcome, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says a public-private partnership is a logical way to spread the cost of such a huge undertaking.

"The challenge would be in working out just how the partnership would operate to ensure as many investors as possible could contribute, and in finding an appropriate regulatory regime."

Mr O'Reilly said private sector investment could still be the sticking point.

"Market participants agree that the total amount required to get broadband to 75% of premises is around $4.5 billion, and while a taxpayer injection of $1.5 billion would be a significant help, there is still the matter of gaining sufficient private sector investment to fund the balance.

"The main problem currently is the fact that the private sector can't make sufficient return from New Zealand's small market from the large-scale investment needed.

"National's proposal, based on the involvement of multiple investors, could potentially help overcome this funding barrier."

Mr O'Reilly said the business sector stood to gain productivity, connectivity and innovation benefits from better broadband.


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