Beehive bashing and public spend ups
This week the dear old civil servants got a right old Beehive bashing.
Minister of Finance Bill English lambasted the public service in a Budget 2011 press release. He said they are spending $1.8 billion a year on admin stuff, which is far too high and they have got to find ways of trimming $330 million off their budgets in three years.
Then he gave $58 million to Statistics NZ for a new system, $27.6 million to Department of Internal Affairs for igovt, and $3.5 million to Customs for operating funding for SmartGate.
Then there’s REANNZ
REANNZ announced it is finally going to spend $15 million towards buying capacity on a new international cable - an amount that has been lurking about in the Crown accounts for years.
Pacific Fibre, the company cofounded by Rod Drury, Sam Morgan and Stephen Tindall, is the lucky recipient. Pacific Fibre CEO Mark Rushworth sounds well pleased to have secured a crown entity as its first foundation customer (subject to REANNZ shareholder approval, we note).
And Kordia, who appear to have lost this round of critical funding, was gracious in defeat. “The REANNZ tender was for capacity to Australia and the US, which is the route of the proposed Pacific Fibre cable. So this decision makes sense.”
Oh and let’s not forget Crown Fibre
Bill English was especially generous to Crown Fibre Holdings, releasing $942 million in capital funding. This means the government agency now has access to the full $1.4 billion set aside for Ultra Fast Broadband initiative. In addition, $28.2 million has been provided to allow schools to connect to the new fibre network.
So well done Stats, DIA, Customs, REANNZ and CFH on securing the funding. Spend it wisely. Fry Up’s advice is don’t seek advice from the IRD. While they may be fabulous at getting money, of late they have proven not so good at getting value for money.
Regulation and Investment make fine bed fellows
At the TUANZ Telecommunications Day on Thursday in Wellington, Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson made the following observation:
“A regulatory regime which promotes competition stimulates investment. This phenomenon is, I think well demonstrated in this slide (below) showing Telecom’s investment between March 1988 and March 2010 – a dramatic fall in investment after privatisation under a ‘light-handed’ regulatory setting, a spike in investment following the introduction of industry specific regulation in 2001, and a dramatic increase since the 2006 amendments came into effect.”
Meanwhile in Auckland, later that day, Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds told an audience of business people his company has invested $5 billion in the four years he has been chief executive.
Vodafone hears the regulatory call
And it may have been the siren call of more regulation to come that prompted Vodafone to drop its data roaming in Australia to $1/MB. According to the press release; “$1/MB is the lowest data roaming price available to customers on either side of the Tasman. Today Telecom customers in Australia pay $8/MB and Two Degrees customers pay $2.50/MB.”
Why the move?
“Vodafone’s General Manager of Consumer Marketing, Kursten Shalfoon says the move is part of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to offer the best value to customers heading to our most popular overseas destination.”
Voda has a bad hair day
It’s fair to say that Fry Up enjoys a dig now and again at Vodafone’s expense (see Vodafone hears the regulatory call above). But we have always rather liked its advertising. Take the double rainbow guy advert – it was quite brilliant. The company took a YouTube phenomena and turned it into a mainstream commercial.
But this week, when the company used social media to advertise the Xperia Play device by claiming the launch had been delayed because the shipment was stolen, it failed to fire.
This is how it promoted the new device on Twitter and YouTube:
vodafonenz: We regret to advise the Xperia Play launch will be delayed. Major security breach. The shipment of phones has been stolen.
vodafonenz: Our fraud team are investigating the stolen Xperia PLAY phones and have released footage of the break-in Can you help? http://cot.ag/lB5pSL
vodafonenz: NEEDS YOU A man hunt is underway to find our stolen phones. REWARD: 6 Xperia PLAY phones and $5000 credit. Game launches on Facebook 19/05