New Zealand has a chance to be a world leader in ultra fast technology if the National Party gains power at the next election.

According to an article published by Computerworld NZ, John Keys - the leader of the Nationals - was speaking at the CIO Conference in Auckland on Tuesday and said that "globalisation and the brain drain were threatening the local economy. We lost 81,000 people last year, 45,000 to Australia. We had the highest brain drain per capita of any country in the OECD for tertiary qualified people.”

Keys further added, "Three areas where New Zealand has a comparative advantage are food production, tourism and in service-based industries where companies offer a niche service that can be globally connected to the world.”

“If we get it right, you’re going to see businesses able to locate themselves in New Zealand", he said. This is not new information and has been quoted by many broadband advisory groups around the world. The Global Digital Economy is exactly about business which can operate "virtually" anywhere in the world and therefore it comes down to a lifestyle choice - and New Zealand is certainly a nice place to live.

Capital investment typically flows to the locations which are best serviced with the right infrastructure and operating costs. India and its call centres and software development houses are prime examples of that economic movement. Without Fibre to the Home, New Zealand will be very much the last choice for investors in the Digital Economy, and if that investment is being made else where, the "Brain Drain" will only get worse.

Currently New Zealand sits at number 35 out of 42 in the recently released Broadband Quality study, and will fall further behind as China and India increase their deployment of Fibre to the Home.

Key says the Nationals want to invest more than $1 billion into rolling out fibre to 75% of homes throughout New Zealand, as well as business districts and schools. But this proposal has seen a lot of criticism from the current government and some carriers with a vested interest in their existing infrastructure.


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