Saturday, May 02, 2009

Broadband initiative should be shelved

Rather than duplicate the good work of someone else, the press release from Libertarianz spokesman Luke Howison on the government's broadband proposals says it all for me:

While the proposal tries to present itself as forward-looking and visionary, it is really just about identifying a currently fashionable investment and then throwing huge amounts of taxpayers' money at it. It is very easy to be visionary when you are spending someone else's money and have no accountability for the financial success of the investment.

The best thing the government could do would be to remove the barriers to private sector investment in telecommunications and to accept that if there isn't enough customer demand that investments will be (and should be) directed elsewhere.

Confiscating Telecom's property rights happens to have coincided with the end of competitors rolling out networks. Perhaps returning those property rights would have the opposite effect? Or are the soothsayers about how much prosperity and HD video porn fibre to the kerb will bring a bunch of enthusiasts that want everyone else to help pay for what they are interested in?

1 comment:

Dazza said...

For all of the chest beating, I haven't seen much evidence of the productivity enabling applications this "new" technology will bring as opposed to a completed rollout of ADSL2+. I'm not saying there aren't any, just that no-one is talking about them, only the technology that supposedly underpins them.

And please remind me, how much is one of these goverment subsidised connections going to cost? Oh yeah, no one's talking about that either. My guess, an unjustifiable amount for the forseeable future.

Also, this technology doesn't seem to take into account the technical issues these massive pipes encounter as they hit the bottleneck of international internet feeds.