Fry Up: A Golden opportunity
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All the glitters isn't gold, as Shakespeare so wisely wrote, and certainly the $1.35 billion fibre broadband network that has just been given the green light is unlikely to be gold-plated, despite what the Labour opposition might say in Parliament.
"Are we going to see a bigger monopoly in the broadcasting sector be given a gold-plated distribution channeling into people's homes?" asked Labour spokesperson Clare Curran during the third reading of the Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband and Other Matters) Bill.
The Labour party fought hard in the dying days of the Bill's debate to land some hits on the government, but ICT Minister Steven Joyce managed to bat them away. The only killer blow was the scrapping of the 10-year regulatory holiday, which was a long fight and involved the entire industry and while Labour can take some credit for its demise, so too can the industry, the consumer groups, Act, the Greens, the Maori Party and Neil Waka.
Fry Up was rather taken with Curran's term 'gold-plated' because the new network won't be, in the sense that it isn't the best network that we could have possibly built as a nation. Some of us were hoping for a point-to-point solution (GPON architecture is more cost effective, but it will be harder to unbundle when the time comes and it will) but that requirement got scrapped in the second draft of the plan issued back in September 2009.
The assertion by ICT Minister Steven Joyce that "UFB will deliver fibre connectivity to ... three-quarters of all New Zealanders by 2020" is suitably non-specific. While it may reach suburban streets in that time, there is a massive amount of work to do to ensure it gets from the curb and into people's homes.
It surely is a pragmatic solution, where the government's negotiators Crown Fibre appeared hell-bent on getting the best price. And you always get what you pay for.
But it is a fibre to the home network of sorts and one that the telco industry would not have delivered without government intervention, and that is something to celebrate.
Also Telecom is to be split in two, which sends a staunch message to every monopoly provider who sweats a public asset.
Third and final reading for UFB and RBI bill
Focus on the upload
Will Telecom and Sky cosy up to deliver high-priced Star Trek movie sequels and reality television shows about dysfunctional British families that can be downloaded in minutes?
The next battle is content. Though rather than think about what is coming down the pipe, it is what's going the other way that is the real challenge.
It is time to focus on the upload - delivering the best solutions to the world via fast fibre networks (go Pacific Fibre, Optikor, SPIN and anyone else who wants to build another international pipe, the more the better).
If we want to avoid becoming a nation of waiters, slaves to the tourism dollar, here is as good an opportunity as any to create a hi-tech industry. According to the TIN 100, the technology sector made $4.9 billion in exports last year, which is probably the equivalent in the hospitality industry of selling a trillion flat whites.
This week Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced an amendment is to be made to the tax law, so that businesses will be able to claim tax deductions on failed software developments.
According to New Zealand Computer Society CEO Paul Matthews, this is very good news. Matthews says it will "safeguard the investment in software, which is necessary to see our economy growth through increased innovation, efficiency and productivity".
So whaddaya waiting for? Start working on those SaaS applications today. Fry Up has an idea about launching one in the accounting area, we don't think that has been tried before...
Tech sector achievements under-recognised
IRD reverses stance on tax deductions for failed software projects
Nice phones, shame about the press release
As part of Fry Up' s occasional series (which may or may not have begun today) on the strange, weird and desperate press releases that pass through our email inbox, we bring you this from the folks at HTC and Telecom.
The quite ordinary content (quotes from exciting company reps, list of device specs) was transformed by the hyperbolic title - in capitals.
HTC AND TELECOM NEW ZEALAND RE-DEFINE ENVY WITH THE HTC SENSATION AND HTC WILDFIRE S
Rilly? These smart phones are going to give new meaning to one of the seven deadly sins? What a shame we missed the launch.
World's worst sheepdog is afraid of sheep
Gotta feel sorry for this four year old Border Collie, named Ci. Scared of sheep ever since he was a puppy. Hard knock life. Read more: The Daily Telegraph.
Posted by Anonymous at 12:16:38 on June 27, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 22:54:17 on June 28, 2011
In the days when the Post Office built and owned the telephone network, it was indeed a public asset - owned by a government department and therefore in public hands.
When the government of the time created Telecom NZ and sold it off, the network, exchanges and all other assets were sold to the shareholders in return for their money. Nothing has happened since that time to tranfer the ownership of the network back into the public hands.
Whilst you may feel that the network is a public asset, it simply is not the case. The government sold it, but now, strangely, it is creating deliberate political instruments such as regulation to dictate the way it is to be used to its legal owners. Maybe they are having second thoughts...
Posted by Neil at 15:31:13 on June 25, 2011
Posted by Glenn at 16:54:12 on June 24, 2011
Bring back Juha
Posted by Anonymous at 16:27:26 on June 24, 2011
Posted by hellonearthis at 16:54:10 on June 24, 2011
Let's face it, that's how we'll terminate the UFB in our homes anyway (who uses desktops any more) so why not speed up deployment with external wireless access points? While they're at it, cloud the CBDs, trains, buses & stops too.
I never understood why the govt is spending $1.35bn getting the internet into our homes when our internet devices are now in our pockets!
Posted by Anonymous at 15:51:31 on June 24, 2011
Posted by Anonymous at 15:19:41 on June 24, 2011