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The Two-Speed Internet

For those of us who remain perpetually mystified as to the Governments broadband policy - i.e. paying for the laying of fibre all over the country with no idea as to when we may expect to be able to take advantage of the facility if we are not part of the favoured city centre, or in the wealthy suburb category.

Increasingly, the need for the high-speed option to keep up with what is going on elsewhere in the World, and to move what is now everyday data requirements is becoming obvious, and that little blue cable buried outside most houses will simply provide exponentially expanding frustration instead of access.

Read today's top editorial in the NYT to get some idea of what is going on concurrently in the US. It is not just our problem - it is really universal, and short of some miraculous technical development we will continue to wait, and be beholden to the monopolistic behaviour exemplified by Sky TV.

Netflix for one has pushed into the States at a speed, and in a manner that leaves you almost breathless - they left NZ in frustration at Government policy, and the slow roll-out. The demand for its services means that there is really only one option - high speed for most of the country, and the US Supreme Court and FCC appear to support this view. We will need to pay more for it, when we can access it, but at least will at last be able to escape the Sky tyranny, and their outrageous profits that we have supported over all these years. 

Business must have high speed, and pay for it as well, but the low speed, lower cost option must remain available. The idea of everyone being forced into fibre by the Government's pricing policy, simply because it under-costed the roll-out, and has to support Chorus is abhorrent. On the other hand, it is critical that the lack of competition here does not result in exorbitant access charges by the broadband operator on content providers, or to exclude competing products like Skype (note that Google now has its own directly competing product).




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