This slightly sullen piece today from the slightly leftist news paper the NZ herald. According to them (and I’m willing to bet, most frustratingly) NZ broadband prices aren’t the inhibitor to our BB uptake ‘issues’- that is we aren’t in the top half of the OECD average for Broadband uptake.
“At US$16.75 per megabit, New Zealand broadband prices are US$1.25 cheaper than the OECD average and US34 cents less expensive than the OECD average of US$49 when comparing monthly subscriptions.”
So lets look at the reasons this could be occurring besides blaming the incumbent telco (the usual routine).
Could it be our taxation levels on companies affecting their willingness to purchase services? Could it be that the average NZ company is way smaller than the rest of the world? Could it be that the NZ population over a country this size might mean we don’t have the density to drive faster broadband. Could it be that we would rather support our commodity products like forestry, milk products and meat industries than invest in the knowledge economy? Could it be that we can’t train, retain or attract enough skilled workers to do this anyway? Could it be that we have to import so many raw materials to manufacturing anything?
Or could it be that the whole beating that the government has given Telecom is a massive political exercise designed to win over voters and deflect enquiry into other topics such as the above?
Isn’t the whole intention of the digital strategy of the government to raise our GDP levels relative to its peers? If that’s so isn’t there a bunch of other things that the government could be doing like lower taxation and compliance costs. Subsidies and funding for innovative companies. Set up established methods for bridging the geographical divide we face? How about doing something radical like supporting a new age of transportation (less reliance on oil) by becoming the ‘Japan’ of electronic car manufacture?
I don’t know what the answer is but ‘separation so we can have more competition and more investment and cheaper broadband’ doesn’t appear to be the answer….