Here's a follow up to the previous post I found in a link off Stephen Fry's blog. Mariam Shembari has some sensible things to say in a blog post, including:
"Over the past year I’ve been to many conferences on that very topic [the digital economy] – a major event at the University of Auckland Business School, a digital conference run by MSN, a program hosted by Google…
Want to know what all these events had in common?
None of them had wifi.
Someone please explain how you can attend a conference for digital professionals about the growth of New Zealand’s international economy AND NOT HAVE THE FUCKING INTERNET."
Apologies for her expletive and the shouting but Mariam has a point. NZ has been talking about growing the knowledge economy for over a decade now, but doesn't seem to realise that high-speed affordable broadband is essential to this. The current Government's plan is to roll out fibre nationwide and... wait for it ... " it aims to have the service reaching 75 per cent of New Zealand in the next 10 years".
So let's examine that statement. Firstly it says "aims to," not "guarantees to," or "will ensure that," or any other firm commitment - it's a wishy washy "aim." Even if their aim is true 25% of the population will not have ultra-fast broadband! Then there's the "10 years" part, which is really worrying. 10 years is like a lifetime in Internet time. Can you imagine what the Internet will be like in 10 years time? I doubt the people planning this can and so once again we'll be left with an outdated, expensive service.