Kudos to Radio New Zealand National for their excellent and comprehensive coverage this morning of the decision to abandon the Pacific Fibre project, and what it means for New Zealand internet users.
The team behind plans for a second major submarine data pipe linking the US, Australia and New Zealand, announced yesterday the abandonment of the scheme, having attracted only about half of the $400 million required.
Here’s Georgina Ball’s backgrounder from Morning Report:
Then Geoff Robinson spoke to economic development minister Steven Joyce.
There’s plenty of capacity on the existing link, in fact huge amounts of capacity, and I think that’s one of the reasons why the new contendors had trouble getting their deal away. Of course, it is a monopoly situation, so you’d hope over time we get another option for those reasons. But the reality is the prices have been dropping pretty substantially anyway as capacity has been added.
So it’s certainly not dependant on anything in relation to the [ultra-fast broadband]. In fact when we did the original exercise, it was quite obvious that the real problem was last-mile access, and that’s why the government invested there.
He also spoke of “hyperbole and over-excitement from one or two people”.
On Nine to Noon, Kathryn Ryan spoke to one of the key figures behind the Pacific Fibre initiative, TradeMe founder Sam Morgan.
He said, in part:
We’re pretty annoyed that people still don’t understand what we’re doing – especially Mr Joyce, who, if he wasn’t in parliament, probably wouldn’t have that view … It’s not a capacity issue. It’s an issue about there being a single monopoly provider.
That was followed by an interview with Vikram Kumar, CEO of internet users’ advocacy group InternetNZ.
I think the lesson here is that purely private enterprise with a little bit of indirect government backing isn’t going to make it.
Finally, Ryan spoke with Sarah Putt, editor of Computerworld NZ, on the implications of the decision. That should appear here.