FryUp: Not easy, but hard; Telecom recount

Top Stories: - Not easy, but hard - Telecom calls for a recount

Top Stories:

- Not easy, but hard

- Telecom calls for a recount

- Not easy, but hard

It's the goal to end all goals. It's enough to make you stop and think. It made minister of everything technical Paul Swain get sweaty palms when he stood up to announce it.

By the year 2012, that's only 10 years away, we need to have 100 IT companies with an annual turnover of $100 million each.

This will double ICT's contribution to the gross domestic product to around 10%.

Swain, and the members of the ICT taskforce, believe this is eminently achievable and they're keen to hear your plan for pulling it off.

It's enough to make you sit back and think, numbers like that. What would it mean for the country if we could achieve those kinds of levels? What sort of pitfalls would we have to overcome? How would it change the economy and the culture and education and everything?

Ireland managed to pull itself out of the primary producer trap by the bootstraps (arf arf) but paid a price in terms of inflation - because everyone was earning so much, the price of houses went through the roof. Is that going to happen here with such a scheme? How does that tie in with the Reserve Bank Act and the limits on such things?

Just how big a business is a $100 million a year company? How many are there in New Zealand already? Which areas are they in?

Being New Zealand, most of the big players are in the primary produce sector. Kiwifruit, sheep products, bits of cows, that sort of thing. But in the IT sector we've already got some players in that range. Sixteen of them, according to Chris Barton in the Herald. To achieve the taskforce's goal, we'd need to build 100 companies on the scale of EDS, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Unisys, TelstraClear, Vodafone and Ericsson.

The report points out two major stumbling blocks, however. Lack of capital and lack of trained staff. You don't get one without the other and neither comes cheap.

Staffing has been an issue for as long as I can remember and is likely to be for years if not decades to come. How to get kids interested early enough. How to convince undergrads to stay in New Zealand to work. How to convince experienced staff to come home from their high-paying offshore jobs.

It's a big ask, it's a big challenge, but that's what it's all about, right? Who wants to coast on such things? We'll have to convince the nay sayers, and there will be enough of them, that this is not only possible, but desirable. That's the first hurdle right there - and not an easy one to negotiate.

"That challenge is one we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win."

ICT Taskforce: NZ needs 100 x $100m companies - IDGNet

Taskforce seeks quantum leap in ICT industry - NZ Herald

Government taskforce promotes politically incorrect tax incentives - NZ Herald

Industry backs taskforce's tax emphasis - IDGNet

Taskforce emphasises business skills need - IDGNet

ICT Taskforce site - Read all about it and make your submissions here

- Telecom calls for a recount

And in news just to hand, Telecom has reviewed its review of its new connections pricing policy and added in a new tier to the scheme.

You may remember Telecom announced, earlier this month, that it would begin charging users wanting a new connection based on the number of neighbours they have. The more popular you are, the less you pay.

Lonely folk out in the wops would pay a lot. How much? Thousands. Various case studies emerged of farmers, life-style blockers, bach owners and even new subdivision dwellers being asked to cough up more than $1000 for a new phone line.

The government was outraged. Outraged of Wellington. Farmers were outraged. Farmers lobby groups were outraged. Regional mayors were outraged. The FryUp was outraged.

So Telecom's had several late-night meetings with government ministers and come up with a new set of numbers.

Actually, it looks a lot like the old set, but with an extra layer.

So if you're in a high-density region you pay $95 a connection: medium density gets you $250 and low sets you back $500. Anyone in the seriously remote, highly expensive, got to dig a trench the length of Queen Street and put in a new exchange will pay one third of the total cost.

The cynical might say this is what Telecom wanted all along and is playing the government paymaster game of asking for far more than you want on the grounds that you'll get knocked back in the first instance. I know one past master at this (who shall remain nameless, Dad) who used to exceed his budget by roughly double what he was allocated using this method.

I couldn't comment of course, but the proof of the pudding will be in just who gets hit for the big bills at the end of the day. Originally Telecom said these price on application folk would only affect 1000 to 2000 customers, so we'll see how many are left following the changes.

Telecom rethinks rural connection charges - IDGNet

Telecom, what were you thinking? - IDGNet

Telecom prepared to move on phone costs - NZ Herald

Keep in touch for more than $1000 - NZ Herald

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