29 May 2008
A faster more competitive broadband future
Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe says that the Government’s Broadband Investment Fund
will bring more broadband to users faster than alternative approaches.
“Over the next five years the government will spend more than $500 million rolling out fast broadband across New
Zealand. A similar sized investment is expected in the second five years, taking the total potential investment in fast
broadband to over $1 billion.
“The Government’s Broadband Investment Fund will be available much faster than National’s. Proposals for the Fund will
be called for shortly and will be assessed as soon as possible. We are consulting with industry on streamlining this
“National want a year from an election to "develop detailed policy". Any legislation resulting from this would add
another year. Under National it’s potentially two years of nothing. This government is committed to rolling out fast
“Our broadband package promotes the best fit between the best available technology and the needs of users in the region
concerned. This model provides better value for taxpayers, encourages more service providers into the market and drives
Unlike National, the government’s plan does not require new legislation, will not risk a new dominance over fibre, and
importantly, does not adopt a prescriptive solution in a dynamic industry.
“Our initiative provides a ‘base’ component throughout urban centres and suburbs that all operators will have access to,
and offers fibre, wireless and DSL connections to end-users at a significantly reduced cost.
“A critical aspect of the Broadband Investment Fund is that it offers grants to private sector investors rather than
taking an equity stake in any organisation. As the government does not require any return, we are in a strong position
to determine which providers and projects to support.
“The government has committed to promoting solutions that take into account local characteristics and support
competition across a range of technologies.
“Adopting a heavy-handed nationwide solution inevitably favours the incumbent and would put any government in an
extremely weak bargaining position.”