Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Auckland councils in broadband bid

NZ HERALD: Auckland local authorities are investigating building a broadband network in Auckland to take on Telecom. The seven local councils and the Auckland Regional Council are concerned the region's economic and social well-being is being stunted by Telecom's virtual broadband monopoly...

Did you feel the same way I did when you read that? If Auckland's councillors are so bloody concerned
about "Telecom's virtual monopoly," then instead of risking ratepayers' money in a bid to build an alternative network -- that is, risking your money and my money that's been taken from us by compulsion -- THEN WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO LAY THEIR OWN CABLE?

Sheesh! Sorry for shouting, but the contradiction is frustrating, no?

On the one hand you have companies like TelstraClear who gave up trying to lay their own telecommunications cable into and around New Zealand's biggest city because councils, with the Resource Management Act in hand, made it economically prohibitive to install it around suburban Auckland (it was made a "notified activity" if you recall, making construction of an alternative network
virtually impossible).

And now, on the other hand, you have those same councils who, having restricted the operations of these other businesses, now want to take up those operations themselves -- and you have those other telecommunications companies joinng in the call for their major competitor to be dismembered and their lines nationalised!

Doesn't this stuff make you angry? Don't you see that government meddling only begets more meddling? Can't you see that the lack of "
a broadband network in Auckland to take on Telecom" is not the result of of so-called 'market failure,' but of government intervention?

Or are you just happy at the way government meddling, both local and central, helps to restrict investment and to keep us poor -- while keeping the the
fingerprints of meddling concealed?

Writing in 1959, Ayn Rand pointed out a curious American phenomenon that is being replicated before our eyes here and now in New Zealand:
If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.
Beware of politicians' promises. As they say, "If a goverment is big enough and poerful enough to give you all you want then it's big enough and powerful enough to take it all away again." And if you look carefully, you'll sometimes find the order reversed - they'll give back only after they've taken away, but only if they get to receive the credit.

LINKS: Councils keen to fight Telco - NZ Herald
Stealing Telecom's property with weasel words - Not PC

TAGS: Politics, History, New Zealand, Politics-NZ, Economics


  1. And what is Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition saying about this? Nothing! Because those are the same Bastards who built the RMA cross that is being used to crucify businessmen & home-owners in NZ.

    Oh no, far better to crucify DB Pope than actually pre-empt yet another raid on the tax-payer's wallets.

    I wonder if I can convince Dubya that there is a terrorist ring operating out of Molesworth Street. I'm sure a cruise missile in the debating chamber at question-time might help

  2. There was another council, Manukau, that tried to provide broadband to certain parts of the city (I suppose new suburbs). I think they forced developers to install fibre.

    When the ADSL revolution came, the customers in those suburbs couldn't, and still can't I believe, get ADSL. So they were stuck with dial-up only, as the fibre was never really connected or used or something else.

    Manukau has been down this road before. With disastrous results. Why the heck does the government want to provide everything under the sun? Are they gonna give me food next? No wait, they already try to restrict me from eating what I like.

    It's really sad. But he, many Aucklanders will find this an excellent idea. And that's even more sad.

  3. Wellington has a local broadband company called CityLink which grew from the IT division of the Wellington City Council. From what I understand the guy who runs it is a bit of legend.

    Here's the 'About' page:

    The crucial point about this company and the network it operates in Wellington is that it grew from the abilities, ideas and ambition of one man who knew what he was on about.

    It was not a 'good idea' thought up by some idiot politicians who couldn't run a cafe, let alone a network tech company.

    Now the one thing I'm not sure about is how large (if any) a shareholding the WCC retains in the company.

  4. Yes - everyone wants broadband - gee if we get that we'll be wealthy!!

    Who do we want broadband for? - for busineeses? who can use it as a tool to create/export? well, there are 5 fibre loops thru most of inner city/cbd. Plus wireless etc. Businees have the resource and choice to get broadband.

    Do we want broadband so kids can waste time surfing? so computer illiterate teachers can think they're part of comrade Helen's knowledge wave? this is the lot that gave laptops to teachers - no training and no system to use that actually help teach!!

    yes telecom are stangling the country with non broadband upload speeds on their "broadband" - but there are choices, and this may in fact drive other solutions eg woosh etc etc. let people ie "the market" sort out the "right" technolgy.

  5. Thanks for Ayn Rand's excerpt, which I quoted on my blog as well. Best regards.


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