Everyone will by now have seen National’s plans unveiled yesterday for a $1.5b investment in FTTH. John Key’s announcement is below;
Lots of commentary about this already, Rod is pretty positive as it reasonably neatly dovetails with the work the NZI has done (and which Rod was involved in).
Now ubiquitous broadband is a good thing, I’d personally love it. But being a good thing, and being the cure for our economic ills are two very different things. John Key claims FTTH is the productivity unleasher that will move us up the OECD economic rankings – he gives the examples of almost free local toll calls, cheap international calls, movies on-demand and telecommuting. Only one of those things is closely linked to productivity and there is no empirical evidence that a move to a telecommuting enabled world would in fact boost productivity.
I’m not pouring cold water on the idea – I applaud National’s vision and courage – I only hope that the analysis into true return is done such that decision can be made that actually help New Zealand win.