Broadband and Business


I’ve just listened to an interesting programme on Radio New Zealand’s “Insight” programme titled “Business and Broadband”. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in the current situation regarding New Zealand’s broadband connectivity.

Compared with other countries in the world, New Zealand is definitely behind the eight-ball in terms of the bandwidth available to us. This is exacerbated in rural areas where weather conditions, electric fences and simple geography make the issue of connectivity even more of a problem. As a result, the ability of New Zealand businesses to participate in what Thomas Friedman calls the ‘flat world’ is becoming increasingly limited.

There are some developments that provide a sense of light at the end of the tunnel, in particular, the development of urban fibre networks in several major centres supported by funding from the Broadband Challenge, and the development of the KAREN network, providing a !0Gb high speed backbone across the whole if New Zealand.

These and other issues and ideas are canvassed in the documentary which is available to download as a podcast from Radio New Zealand’s website at

One thought on “Broadband and Business

  1. Good post Derek …

    Same situation here in Australia; negotiations are about to connect the first Australian schools to AARnet (Australia’s Research & Education Network) –

    I share this snippet from AARnet:

    “AARNet has connected three states and territories to its national high-capacity internet backbone. The ACT, Northern Territory and Independent Schools of NSW have all come online as part of the national education network, since the launch of the AARNet3 third-generation high-speed broadband connection.

    Any school that is already connected to an aggregational wide-area network such as the state-based education department networks can access the national backbone. Connection to the national backbone will give students and teachers access to services and information that they have never had before, from other states, territories and countries, without geographical constraints – and it will all be at the fastest speeds they’ve ever experienced.

    One of the first groups to take up access to the national network is Northern Territory Schools, comprising 200 government and non-government schools with 40,000 students. Greg Moo, CIO, Northern Territory Schools said,

    “When the opportunity came up to connect to AARNet3, we leapt at it. One of the things the network allows us to do is to explore the remote area between Darwin and Alice Springs. We now have the ability to run video conferences and high demand interactive applications across that space.

    “Our schools are particularly pleased. With our prior commercial ISP we were pushing our capacity constraints to the limit. AARNet3 allows at least a five-fold increase in capacity and is definitely more cost effective,”


Leave a Reply