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Report Proposes Utility Expansion For Broadband Future

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Fibre optics.
Fibre optics.

15 December 2008 - Groundbreaking research released today by InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) concludes that utility expansion provides the best opportunity for dramatic improvement of New Zealand's broadband infrastructure.

The final report Broadband Strategy Options for New Zealand has been prepared by independent consultancy Network Strategies as the second part of a research project initiated in June. It investigates the investment required under differing scenarios to introduce real high-speed broadband with at least 100Mbit/s for domestic users and 1Gbit/s for commercial users for 75% of the population within 10 years.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson hails the document as a serious contribution to the debate that will provide valuable input for Government, local body and industry discussion. "This report provides the first publicly-released comprehensive costing model for a fibre network in New Zealand. It is very timely as the Government prepares its infrastructure plans for the New Year and beyond."

Dr Suella Hansen, Director of Network Strategies, commented that the consulting team had applied a techno-economic modeling approach to investigate in detail different technology, business and market scenarios.

"Public sector participation will be important as our modeling shows that the levels of required investment are beyond that of a commercial operator's typical payback expectations," says Hansen.

InternetNZ commissioned Network Strategies to independently investigate workable models for a New Zealand Broadband Infrastructure, applying six principles around fair competition, affordability, timeliness, high-speeds, independence, and avoiding of excessive duplication. Business models considered included lit Fibre-to-the-Premises, Open Access Ducting, unlit Fibre, and utility expansion. An extension of Telecom's cabinetisation rollout using VDSL was also considered.

Davidson says the model of utility expansion hasn't been visible in the ongoing public debate in respect to broadband infrastructure and now must be seriously considered. "The potential cost benefits of using utilities for broadband expansion cannot be ignored."

He says the Government recognises that New Zealand needs a step up in broadband infrastructure in order to compete globally. "Given the current economic environment it is even more crucial that money is spent wisely and in ways that will enhance our competitiveness and address our geographic isolation. We trust this report will assist in the Government's considerations."

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