Labours ICT policy pt2…

I’ve just got back from a press conference at parliament where David Cunliffe & Clare Curran launched the second part of their ICT policy. The first bit was done a couple of weeks ago at Nethui, my thoughts are here.

As an outsider it was fascinating to watch the ‘gallery’ in action and quite a contrast from the Nethui launch.

Today’s launch dealt with 3 areas, connectivity, digital divide and on-line rights.

Both Cunliffe and Curran showed the depth that comes from one being a former ICT minister and the other having had 6 years to grow in the ICT spokespersons role. Cunliffe dealt with the big picture stuff, a deep review of the whole UFB project, including CFH, the LFC’s and what can be done about the copper transition.

We’re also being promised what should be the final review of the Telco Act, this would be welcome and then focus shifted to the RBI. I’ve recently outlined TUANZ’s view of things rural and there’s some interesting discussion going on over at the NBR..

Labour recognise that rural is far from solved and as well as the inevitable review are also looking at fostering innovation in rural connectivity with a $9.6M contestable fund. They also support more competition in international connectivity and talk about a cable from Southland to Australia.

On the digital divide, they tackle the role of Local government and want to get the 20% of households with no broadband on-line. Again hard to fault and the devil will be in the details.

On on-line rights its basically less spying, legal access to content and a civilised approach to copyright.

All in all I’d give this one an A-, as one industry attendee said ‘Clare has obviously been listening to a lot of people’

I now await the National Party policy with interest, I hope i get invited to their launch.

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