While Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka awaits public comments on its ‘National Backbone Network’ proposed to be installed mostly as a fully government owned infrastructure to provide islandwide broadband links, New Zealand Government says it would be a huge waste of taxpayer money to put $1.5 billion into ultra-fast broadband access. New Zealand’s National Party leader John Key announced the ambitious plan to put broadband into every home and business through fibre cables over the next six years if his party wins the next election. Mr Key said that with the fibre network he wanted, people would be able to use the internet at lightning speed – essential if the country was to increase productivity and remain internationally competitive. But Communications Minister David Cunliffe saw nothing but problems and trouble.
The break up of AT&T in 1984 led to a seismic shift in telecom policy and regulatory thinking worldwide and also created the conditions for the Internet boom. New Zealand is a small country quite unlike the US, but it has taken an unprecedented step that has the potential of changing policy and regulatory thinking again. As the excerpt below says, the split is on the lines of the BT reorganization in the UK. That is true. But the key difference is that BT reorganized voluntarily and NZ Telecom, not.