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High-speed broadband at home vital

Media Release - 3 September 2008 - InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) is concerned with comments from TelstraClear CEO Dr Allan Freeth reported in the New Zealand Herald yesterday.

“Dr Freeth’s view that true high-speed broadband available at home is not important for New Zealand’s future is not a view we share. High speed broadband – 100mbps and more – is vital to New Zealand’s future,” says InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson.

“Freeth is reported as saying that the main benefit of true high-speed broadband at home may simply be faster porn and movie downloads, and that there would be no impact on productivity,” Davidson says.

“All across the economy, innovative applications are being developed that help people work in more productive ways. In the rural sector, for instance, many new and little-known applications were illustrated at the TUANZ Rural Broadband symposium in July. “High-speed broadband already allows effective work-from-home and telepresence arrangements, greater social interaction through video contact between family members; and sustainability gains through, for example, realtime monitoring of energy use.

“More importantly, a whole array of services and applications that can’t even be developed without ubiquitous high-speed broadband will be invented and rolled out once the infrastructure is available. “Many applications – whether already available or yet to be developed – will boost productivity, and people’s quality of life.

“New Zealand needs to keep up with other countries in rollout out true high-speed broadband services. If we do not, then as the applications it allows demand higher bandwidth and become more critical to our economy’s future, we will be left behind.

“Dr Freeth has a job to do, in protecting TelstraClear’s investment in an HFC network that is not capable of delivering the services that a fibre-to-the-home network would allow. His comments should be read in that context,” Davidson says.

“InternetNZ considers that the case for true high-speed broadband has been made. That is why we are now focusing on developing the best possible roadmap to roll it out, and the research we commissioned last month with Network Strategies, which will be released before this year’s election, will help paint a clear picture of the approach which is best for New Zealand.

“Incumbent network owners will always be sceptical of plans which increase the competition they face. That is to be expected, and as a result it is important for all participants in the debate to make their voices heard,” concludes Davidson.

For more information:

Richard Wood

Communications Officer

04 495 2333 / 0274 974 837
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