It would be an understatement to say that broadband in NZ is a topical issue.  Most of what I read isn’t objective or well thought out. I’ve said before the stated goal of the government to “get us into the top half of the OECD” is a nonsense without thinking about and supporting commercial enterprise to use these digital links and create wealth from it.

So I was really interested in this report from the ISCR. It’s really worth a read. It describes and compares the demographics and telecommunications infrastructure of the two nations and seeks to explain why Finland are 6th and NZ is 19th on the OECD lists.

It raises a bunch of questions to me,  how about you? I’m really keen to get the thoughts of our readership community about this. More on this subject here and here.

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.

  • There is an old story about the Finnish farmer who found a wood-chip in the river, and rowed for seven days and seven nights up the river and when he found the person who dropped it into the river he killed him because he wanted to be alone.

    The Finns have a grim determination that New Zealand can only dream about. Their history is quite different to NZ, as is their geographical location and proximity to markets. They have a larger population (significantly larger, when one considers that the benefits from larger populations are not linear), and tech-savvy neighbours.

    I could go on (their psyche is quite different from NZ) but there’s enough to see there is a world of diffreence between the two countries.

    Finland and NZ do have one thing in common: very high suicide rates (and NZ doesn’t have the hard winters that undoubtedly contribute to the high Finnish rates).

  • I think this report shows a few things 1) in terms of GDP, having fast cheap networks means nothing unless you have business demand or an economy focused on ICT exports.

    I think it shows that NZ isn’t the infrastructure backwater our politicians have painted (for their own political gains)

    I think it shows a critical need for a government to a) stop intervening in markets and b) have a long term vision for transforming the economy for our own GDP benefit…

  • Notwithstanding that Telecom is a corporate partner to the ISCR, it is good to see some deeper intellectual analysis of the issues around broadband.

    Yes – Finland differs in that it has been able to leverage a neighbouring population of (over) 300 million. The Finns also have a largely homogeneous society with a somewhat different value system to ours. But are any of those things evidence justifying NZ constraining its telco infrastructure?

    The ubiquitous use of ICT and better connectivity correlates with more innovation and improved productivity. That seems like a jolly good reason to get on with sorting it out.

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