I recently saw John Key and David Cunliffe present on how important broadband is to New Zealand in terms of growth, opportunity and the future of our economy. Labours view is pretty much centred around enabling access to the cabinets (Unbundling the local loop), while National have the desire to run fibre everywhere, as well as leveraging existing fibre where it makes sense etc.
While there is merit in both views, and maybe a combination of the both is where we should go, the question that keeps on buzzing around in my head is simple – So we can talk to each other at ‘fast’ speeds, so what? Sure there is a requirement for improved performance within New Zealand, however isn’t it more critical for us to be able to communicate at higher speeds to the rest of the world? We want to be seen as a safe, secure and cheap haven for organisations to build their data centres in. We want to provide opportunities for innovation and for New Zealand to be able compete effectively on a world stage - the reality is that the current cost of international bandwidth is too high and latency impacts on our performance.
Below is a link to information on how ISP’s in New Zealand are connected to local and international providers.
Am I missing a piece of the puzzle, or aren’t we better off working with others and owning a decent share of our destiny by owning our ‘future roads’ ?