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Minister Talks Of NZ Potential To ITU Conference

Tuesday, 26 February 2002

Communications Minister Talks Of New Zealand Potential To ITU Conference

Communications Minister Paul Swain has emphasised the potential of New Zealand as an information technology test bed to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting in Queenstown this week.

250 delegates from around the world are attending the meeting to discuss the development of new generations of mobile radiocommunications technologies.

It’s the first time New Zealand has hosted an ITU meeting since deregulation of the telecommunications industry in the late 1980's.

Paul Swain told the conference that New Zealanders have always shown a willingness to take up new technology.

“With the growing transformation of the world’s economies towards knowledge and information-based societies, New Zealand has come into its own in terms of its potential as a test-bed for new technologies and new products,” Paul Swain said.
New Zealand operates, as far as possible, a technology neutral regulatory regime. This affords both providers and users of services, maximum flexibility in terms of choosing the technology that best suits their needs.

“We have set ourselves two key targets, that by 2004 the Internet will be the dominant means of enabling ready access to government information, services and processes. And that all New Zealand communities will be able to access two-way high speed Internet services by the end of 2003.

“People want communications wherever they are – and I welcome news that that the ITU is exploring concepts such as 4th generation communications where, for example, a mobile phone might act as a control node for selecting the most appropriate access or technology route depending on the nature of the transmission.

“I believe New Zealand would be the perfect place to test these sorts of new technologies,” he said.

Ends

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