NZ Govt plans for optic fiber questions by big telcos
The new National Party run government of New Zealand have a very unusual policy of investing 1 billion dollars in our network infrastructure. The big telcos are questioning the governments intent saying that it would provide for a whole new industry of problems to solve, like optical modems in every home? And how will homes deal with 100 Gigbytes of bandwidth? Of course except when downloading huge files, they will barely touch the sides. It is excessive and the socialist move by a conservative party - by investing in technical highways seems horribly misdirected. Education will do far more long term good. Unless there are inventions we have not been told about yet. Like being able to transmit experience, learning and skills over broadband. Now that would make the Governments investment worth it.
See Stuff NZ article
Labels: faster broadband, John Key, NZ Government
The value of high speed broadband
The value of high speed broadband can not be understated. That is if you are a movie producer, TV producer or any kind of business who sees an advantage in the zero cost penetrative medium - when the web is used intelligently, it gets an audience, an accumulative audience. But it is also hyper competitive - what works today may not tomorrow - and it is really the human talent behind the evolution of websites that work that really is the basis of what the internet is capable of delivering. High tech high profile internet "busts" sound terrible until you realise that there are still some who commission software projects like the latest snake oil - but a quality software project may take the work of a team of ten programmers which when subjected to the realities of the market may get absorbed into a larger unit due to business consolidation displacing others in the process. And thus the market gets to produce less product focused on a market need, and diversifies as individuals are able to make their own mark. The value of readily available high speed broadband appears to be simply video delivery. The value of video delivery is in teaching and it does not require the internet to be a replacement television network. The value of all this online video is, as a form of knowledge, limited. It is linear (you have to watch it all) and it is atextual (meaning it requires simple tags to create links to it, these tend to be a combination of targeted generics basically pitching every similar business against each other if they could spark/fake up enough "relevance" that the search engines can be seen to take notice. Search engine or whatever comes next to tell us what to watch - success in this realm has to do with connectivity, sure, but it has far far more to do with software. That is why international giants like YouTube exist - they are not ahead in upload and delivery technology - but they do have an audience. Just how committed that audience is, well it depends on the nature of the content. It is not riveting. I followed (for a while) three of the leading channels on YouTube, they are good and entertaining to watch. But do I want to go back?
More important, do I want to watch them again? How about fostering the development of content, like the BBC does. The deal with the TV license has given some of the most extraordinary documentaries for the world to see (for a fee, online, or from your local DVD hire). It has provided capital and now there is a library that new audience will want to see for years to come.
The main value of high speed broadband is to foster our citizen led film industry. We produced Peter Jackson. Now with a video camera in every ten year old's hands - someone will produce a zero budget master piece.
Companies who compete internationally are benefit by reliable predictable broadband availability. But to broadcast to the world, we must decrease the cost of international bandwidth or the massive increase in internal bandwidth will bottleneck our international bandwidth. Think, how does the motorway work when you jam more cars onto it? What if we increase maximum available bandwidth to every downloading teenager - that does not auger well for the availability of international bandwidth. There must be provision for that first. We are slow on the internet internationally, but locally we have a service that is adequate if the software is written to deal with a crowd rather than one, maybe two simultaneous users.
That is the problem. The new government is about to spend 1 billion on broadband availability. Great, spend half on international bandwidth and then train sofware professionals who can write software that scales successfully. And New Zealand will discover a new industry.
It is worth considering more carefully than a chant for "more bandwidth!" - it is really at a point where we are not efficiently using what we have.
See also:LA Times
Labels: faster broadband, Government spending, internet investment