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UN Commission praises ANZ broadband policies

25 Sep 2012

Australia and New Zealand are among the top nations for broadband policy according to new report by the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

According to the State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All report, the Commission found 66% of 193 countries now have national broadband plans in place, or in the planning stages of development.

ANZ (represented separately) were among eight countries or regions highlighted for their target speed of 100Mbps for their national broadband infrastructures.

New Zealand currently have targets of 75% coverage at 100Mbps by 2019 as Australia targets 93% coverage at 100Mbps placing them among the most ambitious in the world, matching a similar goal by the U.S.

Reports for fixed and mobile broadband penetration showed New Zealand placed 23rd (25.8%) in fixed broadband and 13th (53%) in mobile for the year 2011 while Australia ranked 26th (23.9%) in fixed and 20th (42.8%) in mobile.

Overall, the Commission is proposing a target for all countries to have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in universal access/service (UAS) definitions by 2015.

“The advantage of setting national targets for coverage and broadband speed is that they provide clear signals by Governments and regulators of their commitment to establishing advanced and modern infrastructure,” Commission says.

“National targets may also include a type of universal service obligation, embodying social and public policy objectives within commercial and competitive markets.

"In this regard, countries should take care to ensure that national targets do not become a blunt tool that can fail to take into account the needs and geography of certain areas (e.g. for remote or rural areas).”