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InternetNZ receives Stage 1 of Broadband Report

InternetNZ receives Stage 1 of Broadband Report


Media Release - 29 September 2008

InternetNZ has received Stage 1 of its Broadband Strategy Options for New Zealand, prepared by Auckland-based Network Strategies. The Stage 1 report is the scoping and literature review and sets the parameters for the Stage 2 report. The report can be accessed here: http://internetnz.net.nz/issues/newzealand/broadband-strategy-options-for-new-zealand/Inz2%20report%20%20-%20final2.pdf

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says it is clear from Stage 1 that a step up in thinking about infrastructure is needed to enable New Zealand to compete with market leaders in the OECD.

"Suitable targets of 100Mbit/s for residential users and 1Gbit/s for commercial users cannot be achieved without significantly more investment than is being envisaged."

Stage 1 looked at local proposals and international examples. The Stage 2 report will explore potential business and intervention models applicable to New Zealand.

The report says: "Market leaders in the OECD have seen huge growth, stimulated by the availability of high bandwidth services at a relatively low price – as an example, residents of the Swedish city Vasterås can currently obtain symmetric 100Mbit/s services from NZD49 per month, which compared with the DSL services Telecom New Zealand plans to deliver in four years’ time still represents an enormous gap."

A number of lessons have been identified from overseas broadband developments including the need for Open Access where there is an absence of infrastructure competition, removal of barriers to broadband expansion, and importance of local government involvement.

Two possible models are proposed and will be explored in Stage 2 - public private partnerships and utility business expansions.

"There is also clear evidence that demand-side initiatives (demand aggregation and stimulation) may have an important role in achieving desired take-up and ongoing viability of the venture, and thus should not be neglected when developing broadband strategies," says the report.

Background:

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 at the end of June. Network Strategies was selected from 10 respondents.

ends


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