Fibre birthing pains - it might get loud


We are unlikely to ever see a cost-benefit analysis for the UFB Initiative and the related regulatory changes.

It is a political rather than economic initiative, although the scope for economic benefit is significant (if unquantified). This should not be taken as a criticism of the intent or vision of the initiative -- IDC believes that it is a great opportunity to deliver fibre on a scale and within a timeframe that would otherwise be uneconomic.

It is a bold vision that represents a broadband step-change for New Zealand.

However without robust debate regarding the risks of the intervention model, the long term impact on the telecommunications industry and a clear strategy for realising the benefits of an open access ubiquitous fibre network, we are at risk of becoming the international model for how not to invest in fibre, not to mention missing an opportunity to establish a sustainable high-speed broadband network platform and regulatory regime that will drive economic growth and social development

Spragg is an IDC NZ Telecommunications market analyst