The ISP Association (ISPANZ) is backing high-tech entrepreneur Rod Drury in seeking a fix to the emerging internet peering debate.
ISPANZ says the government should take immediate steps to fix the issue, which sees much local internet traffic routed outside the country due to telecommunications carriers here refusing to "peer" with each others' networks.
"Data shouldn't be traversing national and international links unnecessarily, particularly when there are clearly capacity issues in broadband and huge costs in international connectivity," says ISPANZ president David Diprose.
However, Drury and ISPANZ are proposing very different solutions to the problem.
Drury, as reported in The New Zealand Herald, calls for the government to invest in a fibre optic broadband network, and to treat it like the roading system by allowing all ISPs to connect.
ISPANZ says while there may be a temptation to consider regulation in favour of peering, self regulation is its preferred option.
"Government does, however, have a significant role to play," ISPANZ says in a position paper on the issue. "It can take a lead through its own agencies by requiring a clear public commitment to local or regional peering from its own Internet suppliers.
"This would both enhance the diversity, performance and resilience of the Internet in New Zealand. It would also mitigate the risk of sensitive Government data being exchanged internationally. It ensures data transfer between resident New Zealanders stays in New Zealand."
ISPANZ says it is crucial that policy settings encourage peering so that New Zealand has world class broadband.
New Zealand's dominant telecommunications providers stopped peering at internet exchanges in 2004.