adamgifford
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  Telco revival needed to boost the economy
Published NZ Herald, February 4, 2009

Forget tax cuts. Fixing telecommunications infrastructure would put money in people's pockets and generate long-lasting economic stimulus, without knocking a gaping hole in the Government's books.

Real high-speed internet at realistic prices and mobile phone regimes that allow New Zealanders to make calls without a meter ticking in their head are the sort of boosts individuals and businesses will notice.

Two decades of folly and "market" solutions which are anything but have crushed innovation and left New Zealanders with high phone bills and mediocre service. Fed up with the antics of the telephone companies, internet New Zealand has urged the Government to instead work with electricity lines companies to realise its promise of an accelerated roll-out of fibre.

That would fit in with the principles of National's broadband policy articulated by John Key: no undue advantage to existing providers, open-access architecture, avoidance of duplication, accessible to all, and a future focus on public private partnerships.

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An online possie for Adam Gifford, a New Zealand journalist specialising in information technology, Maori news and the arts.

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