Flushed with the Government’s success in negotiating a deal with Hollywood moguls, ICT Minister Steven Joyce greeted the audience at the TUANZ Rural Broadband Symposium in Rotorua by announcing he was speaking from “middle earth”.
The Minister was in Wellington speaking via a video link. His speech revealed little, but the Q and A afterwards was more illuminating. Federated Farmers boss Conor English wanted to know if the Rural Broadband Initiative would get a helping hand from the Ultra Fast Broadband fund (unlikely), Computerworld wanted to know when partners in the UFB would be announced (shortly), and 2degrees founder Tex Edwards wanted to know the Minister’s thoughts on the Commerce Commission’s failure to win the 0867 case (nothing specific, but telco regulation is, according to the Minister, ongoing and endless).
Chair Chris O’Connell farewelled him by noting the excellent quality of the video connection, while the Minister promised to come back next year as a hologram.
There are some who would prefer he attended in person. Serial entrepreneur and broadband evangelist Rod Drury, told the audience later that day that someone needs to get the telco industry together in a room and sort them out.
Having saved the Hobbit, can the Government now rescue the telcos?
Hide and go seek
When you become a parent you discover stuff about yourself that you didn’t know. For me, it was that I am quite good at making up treasure hunts. I once set a bunch of kids out on a neighbourhood version of The Amazing Race and I’m pretty sure all of them came back.
But I am an amateur at hide and go seek, as was evidenced by the amount of time it took me find submissions to the discussion paper on structural separation on the Ministry of Economic Development website. An indication of poor website design – or maybe it was because the telcos gave the officials a good kicking?
Wonder what the new boss at TUANZ will make of all this? Paul Brislen, comms chief at Vodafone (and former Computerworld editor) has quit the telco to take up the role of chief executive at the users association. Guess we’ll find out when he starts in the new year.
Those TUANZ submissions on the Telecommunications Commissioner’s draft report on Mobile Termination Rates will make for interesting reading, when you consider the robust discussions Brislen and former TUANZ boss Ernie Newman had on the topic.
Mention of former lives...
HP New Zealand Managing Director Keith Watson as he is today (right) and in his former role as a Magnum PI stunt double (left).
Finally, a reason to visit Hamburg