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Opportunities for growth in ICT

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Immigration
Minister of Communications
Minister for Information Technology
Associate Minister for Economic Development

18 November 2005 Media Statement

Opportunities for growth in ICT

"The Communications and Information Technology portfolios will be key contributors to increasing New Zealand's rate of growth in per capita income," said Minister of Communications and Information Technology David Cunliffe.

Reliable, accessible and cost-effective telecommunications will help drive economic growth over the next term of government, according to a Ministry of Economic Development briefing document for incoming Ministers (BIM), released yesterday.

The Digital Strategy, launched earlier this year, will provide the overall framework for this growth. The strategy's three broad dimensions, content, confidence and connection will continue to underpin significant initiatives to help New Zealanders benefit from ICT and harness information for social and economic gain.

The briefing also identifies Broadband as a key to economic growth. A range of government-led initiatives are already in progress to encourage broadband up-take but these will require ongoing monitoring.

The document outlines several challenges for the next term. The Telecommunications regime introduced in 2001 is basically sound, but some improvements are needed. These will require legislation.

The policy and regulatory challenge is to improve the performance of the sector by spurring further competition while maintaining market incentives for new investment and innovation.

Longer term, a new range of issues is likely to arise with the transition to next generation networks that utilise Internet Protocol.

The briefing to the incoming Minister of Communications and Information Technology is available at http://www.med.govt.nz/about/bim-2005/comms-it/

ENDS

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