itb-nz logo
Story image

Fibre Watch: Shirty Politicians

09 Jun 2011

Labour's telco maven, Claire Curran, was in the news for her dress sense this week. The Dunedin MP was sent packing from Parliament's debating chamber after being told by the speaker she needed to change out of theHighlanders rugby jersey she was wearing in support of her home province.

The top was just a little bit too much of a brand advertisement, according to speaker Lockwood Smith, and not in keeping with the "normal business attire" politicians are expected to don whilst in the chamber.

Before being given the red card, however, Curran was able to grill Communications Minister Steven Joyce on the fate of 300 schools that critics worry have fallen through the cracks in the Government’s broadband initiatives.

Not so, the minister insisted. On top of the $285 million contract awarded to Telecom and Vodafone for its Rural Broadband Initiative the Government has set aside a further $15 million to cover the cost of connecting the so-called Zone 3 rural schools.

"That will more than adequately cover the cost of linking the schools to their local cabinets with fibre, especially given that the drop costs are funded separately through the Ministry of Education," Joyce told the House.

"We had to wait to see the ultra-fast broadband footprint before we could tender to connect these schools, and the tender, I can tell the member, will be going out very shortly. Conspiracy over."

Earlier, Joyce had taken the opportunity to trumpet the Government’s progress on its ultra-fast broadband initiative, which resulted in the recent deal to award a large part of the $1.35 billion project to Telecom.

"Ultra-fast broadband is a key part of the Government's economic growth agenda. These new networks will provide an economic step change for our country as we leapfrog many of our competitors to become one of the most fibred countries in the world," he said.

"The competitive access prices that Crown Fibre Holdings has negotiated will ensure that the benefits of fibre are within easy reach of businesses as well as everyday New Zealanders."

Let's hope, for the sake of the country's economic wellbeing, that all of the above does eventuate as Joyce envisages it.

To continue the rugby theme of the day: fingers crossed our national broadband ambitions aren't ankle-tapped by a lack of vision or funding by future governments as the UFB initiative is rolled out over the next eight years.

Download image
Dynamic Workforce Risk - what it is, and how to mitigate it
Dynamic workforce management is essential for enterprises with a diverse staff and a 'revolving door' of joiners, movers and leavers. Here's how to manage your workforce in a rapidly changing business environment.More
Story image
10 cybersecurity risks to consider when transitioning back to the office
According to BSI, working from home (WFH) and working from office (WFO) scenarios should be applied by organisations interchangeably when reopening, with an aim to mitigate potential cybersecurity risks and ensure data privacy regulations are not violated.More
Story image
Oracle Cloud supports VMware-based environments
The solution aims to replicate the on-premise experience through a global, hyperscale public cloud.More
Story image
Hawkes Bay launches digital transformation project with TechnologyOne
New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay Regional Council has announced it is set to undergo significant digital transformation in partnership with enterprise Software-as-a-Service provider TechnologyOne. More
Link image
In the world of IT strategies, data resilience is among the most critical
The value of data in 2020 cannot be overstated, with some businesses facing catastrophe if subject to a breach. Here's why having a robust strategy to prevent this is crucial.More
Story image
Hyland adds handwriting recognition to Brainware Foundation platform
The addition of advanced handwritten text OCR will enable organisations to expand their ability to extract information from documents and forms, as well as their ability to accelerate downstream processes.More