Telecommunications strategy - Southland sets the lead

November 30, 2016

This paper by Venture Southland - 18 months old - first came to my notice a week or two ago.

 

You MUST read it - at least the executive summary. It is by far the best analysis of the future path for rural broadband that I have seen in half a decade. The last time I saw something as insightful was when TUANZ published its call for a national digital architecture around 2009, which like a lot of other good work disappeared from the TUANZ Web site a year or two later.

 

Essentially the paper calls for regional telecommunications investment to be administered regionally rather than centrally.

 

It goes on to make numerous very astute observations and suggestions. Every one of these is pertinent from a national perspective, not just a Southland one.

 

This paper is far too good to have disappeared without trace all this time.

 

Did the government and its policy people give it serious consideration - or even read it - when Venture Southland presented it as an alternative response to the Registration of Interest process in July 2015?

 

Why have lobby organisations and media not picked it up and promoted it? 

 

Why have the lessons of RBI1 not been learned - the waste of public resources that paid Chorus and Vodafone to build infrastructure that in many cases they should have done at their own expense, and that contributed to a private provider in Southland going out of business and leaving rural users with a taxpayer-subsided service inferior to the commercial one it undermined?

 

Southland, historically through its Economic Development Agency, has been a source of high quality thought leadership on telecommunications issues. This contribution is excellent. For my part I am going to promote and develop upon it at every opportunity.

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