Thursday, February 05, 2009

Government cuts spending on broadband pork

Well, the NZ$340 million broadband subsidy that Labour proposed.

Because National has a bigger one, which I can only hope doesn't go anywhere. If the telecommunications industry could be certain of its private property rights, it would invest where it would see returns in providing broadband capacity.

Labour's Clare Curran (who I described as a vile little PR hack) is screeching saying it is "gut wrenching and wrong", presumably because delaying some people having subsidised access to swap music, download pirated videos, porn and do high end gaming is "wrong". Not that she knows right from wrong, as she actively tried to position National as "enemies of the people". You can just see what she'd have been doing had she lived in East Germany before 1989. She says it sends the industry tumbling backwards. Well any industry that needs shots of money taken from taxpayers shouldn't be our concern.

Broadband has become the new political pork of the 21st century. Those who want it aren't prepared to pay for it. Some suppliers are gagging for subsidies to expand their "businesses" and it has become the cargo cult "essential for the economy". Remarkable how something so essential doesn't get investors excited or the users willing to pay for what it costs.

However, I wont hold out hope that the government will keep its sticky fingers off this, restore private property rights to Telecom over its network and remove the ability of councils to block the roll out of new telecommunications networks through the RMA

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