In response to a post by Rod about Telecom’s announced investment in nationwide broadband, the unreasonable men posed the following question;

I’ve got a question for you all. What are you going to do with you’re faster broadband? The speed of the network is only one of many things that needs to change for NZ to become a 1st world nation. By doing this its just going to move the bottleneck somewhere else…

so again i ask, what are you gonna do with it?

Now that’s a question in the style of the Emperor’s New Clothes fairytale. The point that the UM are trying to make is that for the majority of New Zealanders, broadband means email and the occasional TradeMe auction – hardly pipe intensive.

This contention was in fact supported by the recent NZ Institute broadband strategy which, rather than the Governments broad and moderately fast broadband aims, sought to achieve a targeted, but ultra high speed roll out within the next few years.

Everytime the broadband debate is raised people bring up the Weta Workshops example – but how many users are really out there that need such big pipes – I live in the sticks and get 256kbps broadband on a good day but, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t effect my productivity greatly.

So I’m kind of with the UM on this one – what is Jo or Joanne Average Kiwi going to do with all this extra speed?

So what are the other bottle necks the UM alluded to that affect our ability to move up the GDP rankings? In no particular order;

  • Our fascination with property investment
  • Our risk-averse nature
  • Poor business acumen
  • A lack of capital (VC’s, Angels etc)
  • Poor strategic vision
  • Lack of an ability to execute
  • Low levels of financial literacy
  • A political system that at best is focussed on short term gains, at worst an active impediment to progress

Other than that we’ve got it all going on!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

13 Comments
  • Arghhhh…

    Perhaps we could use all those pipes to provide eduction so the next generation doesn’t fail in English. UM uses “you’re” instead of “your”. I bet he also uses “there” instead of “their”.

    I know, picky, but it annoys me a lot how native English speakers “can’t speak English good” as Zoolander would say.

  • And that should be “education” in my comment…

  • Yeah.. the topic in itself has becamed such a diverse and scattered tht it is hard to some time define them in a brief piece…
    One of the sites i came along with during the due corse were http://broadband-vs-highspeed.blogspot.com/ http://high_speed_internet.rediffblogs.com/
    may u find the interesting to explore with

  • MF – I’m from the same school of thought as you – I’m an absolute pedant when it comes to grammar and spelling. It is, I guess, a reflection of our society that these things become less and less important as time progresses – can you imagine how the next generation’s written compositions will look.

    Despite the grammar UM made some good points – they’re always astute and thought provoking

    At the end of the day the content is more important than the delivery perhaps?

  • I’ve made these points in other fora in the past as you know. The answer is that we want to see a dozen more “Weta/Animation Research/Sidhe” type businesses emerge. We are competing with Hong Kong, LA, Tokyo, Bangalore, Sydney and Singapore for talent. Ironically we are stretched to service those markets with NZ-hosted digital content. It’s not a good look.

    http://geniusnet.blogtown.co.nz/2007/06/22/broadband-treading-water/

    Secondly, local creativity will blossom if high speed connectivity becomes nearly universal, which will in turn spin out new business models. For example, imagine sitting in your student dorm common room in Dunedin and being able to watch and interact with a live band gig in Wellington.

    Both the content AND the delivery are important!

  • A couple of things, i’m a dyslexic who is a knowledge worker. I’m damn proud of that achievement. If i occasionally get a few words wrong in the middle of a rant i can live with that. I’d prefer to be judged on my ideas and content.

    Secondly my point on Rod’s blog was just this. Faster data speeds aren’t going to fix our issue of 30 years of decline down the OECD and GDP averages.

    Education, Taxation support for start ups or even the whole of business. Retaining our talent rather than push them offshore to pay back their (did i get that right) student loans. A pool of funds to support and retain our businesses within NZ would be a help. As successful as Mail Marshall and Aftermail were, we sold them …all the development, IP and money goes offshore again! A government with a spine who is willing to get in behind our innovation rather than capitulate when the farmers drive their tractors down to wellington….

    Even a culture that cultivates and reveres success rather than attacks it – same with our press ( Millionaire John Key ….) like thats a bad thing!

  • bunreasonable – MF and I stand humbled (and I’m not meaning that tongue in cheek). You should be proud of your achievement. Your content is valuable – typos or not!

    On your other points I agree entirely.

  • @bunreasonable, I don’t mean to take away credit where it’s due and I think it’s great for people to stand up for themselves as you did. What I see is more and more young adults using the language in a way that is simply not correct.

    Ieas are great, but language structure (synta, grammar) exists to make sure those brilliant (and some not so) ideas are transmitted in a “standard” that everyone understands.

    It is understandable when people have natural problems with rigid structures, but some people simply don’t give any of their time to make things work.

    All the best.

  • And just to prove it, in my previous post – “ieas” should read “ideas” and “synta” should read “syntax”.

    Too fast a typist, and too much in a hurry… Sorry for that.

  • Bunreasonable said…
    If i occasionally get a few words wrong in the middle of a rant i can live with that. I’d prefer to be judged on my ideas and content.

    I fall into this category too, not because I am dyslexic , but because English is my second language. This is the main reason I won’t have a blog of my own, since everything that I have to write must be proof read by someone else for correctness of grammars and spellings. All software development projects that I get to be involved in, the documentation of the stuff I build is done by someone else. I just sit down with this person where I have to explain to her everything that she has to write down.

  • M,

    I understand your point. I admit to being massively guilty of this. For various reasons I didn’t get (or didn’t retain) much of my english tuition from school. To be honest i actually don’t think that much about it either…

    But i do appreciate (as to your point) people who hold out for the best in people, are willing to offer up comments to others so that they can better themselves or are willing to maintain standards.

    Thanks for doing this for me

  • awwww – it’s beautiful when people are so nice to each other…….

    Just remember – “i” before “e” except after “c” (and apart from the irregular words!)

  • As far as I’m concerned we’ve scarcely the surface of the capabilities that the internet offers us.

    Two areas that the internet would prove beneficial to New Zealanders are in mitigating the impact that the increasing costs of energy have on the New Zealand economy and regardless of whether you believe that due to global warming we are on the verge of ecological catastrophe, we are already signatories to the Kyoto Protocol whether we like it or not and thus run the risk of suffering severe penalties for emitting GHG that are exceeding our limits under that Treaty if we don’t watch out. According to this study, the internet could be extremely critical to mitigating the impact.

    http://www.aci-citizenresearch.org/Final%20Green%20Benefits.pdf

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