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Challenge laid down for NZ’s digital future

Challenge laid down for New Zealand’s digital future

The challenge of the Digital Future Summit is to take New Zealand to the next level. We need to be better than the global market in our chosen niches – the race is getting faster and we must play to win, said Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe, as he opened the Digital Future Summit 2.0 in Auckland today.

The two day Summit is a gathering of 500 key government, business and community leaders to discuss the direction of New Zealand’s digital future.

Minister Cunliffe called on all present, as a new generation of innovators, to take New Zealand’s ideas, companies, sector and economy forward.

“What is certain, if New Zealand is to move forward into a new digital future, is the need for partnership between government, the ICT sector, business and the community.

“The recent steps on investment in the sector are welcomed and present solid progress but we need to go further.

“The government’s long-term vision is for fibre to the home, which is consistent with our aspiration for New Zealand to move up the OECD ranks for broadband uptake.

“It is realistic for New Zealand to aspire to faster broadband speeds and better coverage and the government is keen to see speeds up to twice those currently offered by Telecom in urban areas (i.e. a minimum of 20 Mbps) and for over 90 percent of households to have speeds of at least 10 Mbps.

“The government sees itself as having an ongoing role as a regulator, investor, owner and customer and sees broadband as a priority through these multiple lenses.

“We are looking at a menu of options as part of this Digital Strategy refresh process, and welcome having that dialogue with the sector that this summit provides so that we can begin to see:

  • fibre-to-the-node being extended;

  • improvements in the availability of high speed services to businesses in urban areas;

  • improvements in rural broadband infrastructure; and

  • better international connections.

“Over the next two days I challenge you to have your say and join in the conversation. Contributing to the refresh of the Digital Strategy is only part of the puzzle. I’m calling on the sector and the broader community to think about how you can contribute to New Zealand’s digital future,” said Mr Cunliffe.

ENDS

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