While Australians are starting to realise they’re going to pay dearly for their government-run national broadband network, some New Zealanders are starting to question whether or not we even need ultra-fast broadband—particularly if it comes with a government label—and especially since New Zealanders are already world leaders in stealing films over their existing connections. Something some of us have pointed out before.
These are the sort of people who were (and still are) cheering Obergruppenfuhrer Cunliffe’s break-up of Telecom in the hope it might make it easier to steal more movies and TV shows more quickly—cheering the vandalism of Telecom’s private property here while Telstra’s former CEO Sol Trujillo over there gave the spineless Therese Gattung a lesson in how to tell a thieving government to go to hell.
Trujillo was one chap who knew long ago that the government’s interest in high-speed broadband would only impede private investment in it; and having the government involved at all would only be a clusterfuck. As it has been both there and over here. The question, really, boils down to a simple value judgement:
“”The question is not whether there are, or might one day be, cool things that you can only do with 100mbps broadband.
“The question is whether enough of us are prepared to pay what it would cost to make that available down every suburban street.”
And if we’re not prepared to pay that cost upfront to a private company--and clearly most New Zealanders aren’t, or they would have—then why pretend to ourselves we won’t be paying through the nose when (having delayed private investment in those places where it might be economic) the government starts doing it themselves. Or trying to.
Like they’re been trying to, and failing to, in Australia.