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NZ Next Generation Internet Study Released

Collaborating at Speed : NZ Next Generation Internet Feasibility Study released

The NGI (Next Generation Internet) Steering Group of InternetNZ, with support from Cisco, University of Otago, and Industry NZ has released the final report entitled Collaborating at Speed : Innovation Infrastructure for a Knowledge Economy which investigated the establishment of a Next Generation Internet network for New Zealand.

Collaborating at Speed is the result of a three month long feasibility study which examined in detail the need for the establishment of a NGI network for New Zealand. Over 60 potential private and public sector stakeholder organizations were canvassed as part of the study, including the tertiary education and research community as well as key industry sectors highlighted in the Central Government's "Growth and Innovation Strategy Report - Creative Sector , Biotech and ICT."

New Zealand is unique among its key trading partners as well OECD member countries in not having an advanced research and development network to support the development of Next Generation Internet services which typically utilize connectivity at speeds upwards of 2.5 Gigabit/sec. By contrast ADSL broadband services operate at speeds of up to 1.5Megabit/sec

The vision for NGI expressed in the Report declared that the establishment of NGI for New Zealand was essential "for an innovative and globally-connected economy, with state of the art national internet infrastructure delivering bandwidth at capacities and prices that encourage collaboration, and stimulate researchers and entrepreneurs to seek new challenges and business opportunities."

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Key recommendations from the Report include:

the establishment of an integrated Advanced Network for Research, Innovation and Education open to all private and public sector stakeholders and not restricted to the research and tertiary education communities. Proposed requirements call for a national NGI network, offering connectivity at 2.5 Gbit/sec to all major centres to be established within 12 months, with expansion to regional centres to follow

that an NGI Consortium be formed immediately to develop an appropriate governance and management structure for the establishment of a New Zealand NGI network

funding for the NGI network to be achieved through a private-public sector partnership with Central Government taking a key stakeholder role

the establishment of NGI Application Working Groups focusing on the following priorities and industry sectors: - Creative, Biotechnology, Tele-health, AgriTech, ICT, Education and e-Learning, and NGI technologies.

an NGI funding assistance programme sponsored by Central Government to stimulate NGI application development.

Recommendations from the report Collaborating at Speed were endorsed at a national stakeholders meeting hosted in Wellington on September 19 and included attendees from Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, and Dunedin utilizing a national video conferencing link- up.

Feedback from the stakeholders meeting included unanimous support for a recommendation regarding the need for an non restrictive acceptable use policy (AUP). NGI networks elsewhere are typically bounded by restrictive AUP's allowing only for non commercial traffic.

Equally important was the priority for Central Government research funding agencies to direct financial assistance specifically targeting the development of NGI applications . It has been noted that ICT only accounts for approximately $10 million, or less than 3%, in total research funding.

The key outcome from the stakeholders meeting is the commitment by NGI Steering Group to facilitate the establishment of an NGI consortium within two months to implement the key recommendations of the Report including the possibility of building a third network or national backbone linking gigapops planned for all the major centres

The Report and further information regarding the NGI consortium, including an application and proposed governance rules, is available from InternetNZ or online at www.ngi.org.nz.

Video of stakeholders meeting: http://www.r2.co.nz/20020919b

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