Good times are coming to New Zealand. The National Party won last weekend's elections, so now the NZD 1.5bn plan to bring FTTH to 75% within 6 years is likely to become a reality. Unlike the Australian NBN, at least the National Party of New Zealand recognised they could not cover the last 15-25% of the population economically with Fibre. Sure this will create a "digital divide" between the city and the country, but as I have been saying for some time, its not about the "digital divide" on a national basis, but a "digital divide" on a global scale. People in New Zealand will be at least one of the "haves", but Australia with our pathetic 12Mbps FTTN will certainly be in the "have nots".

The government will help to put together PPPs (public/private partnerships) to build an open access multi-layered network, in order to have maximum competition and "avoid excessive duplication of infrastructure".

To quote National's spokesman (and possibly the new Minister of ICT in John Key's cabinet) Maurice Williamson:

"... the government builds a road and everyone has the right to drive on it. Fibre optic is the road system of the 21st century". (Another politian using a quote from my presentations)

The rollout of fibre to the home will require several partnerships. According to Williamson, many different stakeholders have expressed their interest in National's proposed project. TelecomNZ has expressed "serious interest" in the project, but Williamson stressed that "they will not be a special player and they will not be the only provider" involved.


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