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Labour’s ICT Connectivity Policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, July 24th, 2014 - 21 comments
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David Cunliffe has announced Labour’s ICT Connectivity policy. The digital revolution presents huge economic opportunities for New Zealand, but  too many New Zealanders are being left behind. One in five Kiwis doesn’t have regular access to the internet. That’s not good enough for  the 21st Century.

The next Labour Government will put internet connectivity at the heart of its agenda. We will:

  • Close the digital divide by improving access to broadband in the regions and in low-income communities through reviews of ultra-fast broadband, regional broadband initiatives and trialling new regional and urban connection pilots.
  • Build a more connected economy by modernising telecommunications regulation so there is greater certainty and uptake for industry, businesses and consumers
  • Protect Kiwis’ rights online by introducing a Digital Bill of Rights, upgrading our copyright laws and empowering digital citizenship.

“Labour has already announced it will close the digital divide in schools and will put ICT at the heart of our Economic Upgrade, which shows our commitment to a digital New Zealand.

“Only Labour can deliver the digital future New Zealand needs,” David Cunliffe said.

The full policy statement is here.


21 comments on “Labour’s ICT Connectivity Policy”

  1. James 1

    “Protect Kiwis’ rights online by introducing a Digital Bill of Rights, upgrading our copyright laws and empowering digital citizenship.”

    How does that work when he needs to partner with someone who is being charged with (in short) breaking copyright laws?

    There is even a Kiwi company in the evidence against Kim Dotcom that shows how badly they were impacted.

    The two just do not fit together.

    • hoom 1.1

      How does that work when he needs to partner with someone who is being charged with (in short) breaking copyright laws?

      ‘Upgrading’ is not necessarily the same thing as ‘doing whatever the US/US media companies say’ ie protecting them more.

      I would hope its more in the line of ‘allowing common uses where the law is currently an ass’.

      Something like the long desired ISP levy (% of ISP plan charges going to copyright holder groups to split between themselves as royalties) -> removal of the 3 strikes law?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Perhaps you can explain how Labour will need Dotcom’s vote to pass the bill.

  2. sweetd 2

    what is the chances any of this policy will be on the news after Cunliffe picks a fight with Hosking and TVNZ?

  3. Nick K 3

    The next Labour Government will put internet connectivity at the heart of its agenda.

    When will that be?

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    Thank you Mike for setting this out.

    It is now time to talk Policy and forget about apologies, Hoskings, Hauiti’s or any other number of silly matters that are proving to be a huge distraction.

  5. Michael 5

    I’m sure everyone who is hungry and cold tonight, or those in pain and suffering, will be delighted with this policy. It is very worthy and all that, and certainly not a waste of money, but I reckon Labour has more important matters to address. Not as fatuous as exempting caravans from licencing fees, but really?

    • karol 5.1

      Actually, the digital divide is particularly damaging to those who have the least money. It’s necessary these days to have internet connections for education and work.

      Children in families with no computers or internet connections at home, can be disadvantaged at school, and in developing competencies that are valuable for getting a good job.

      People who are housebound or unemployed, also benefit from digital connections to the outside world.

      For a poor household, lessening the digital divide is one less pressure they have to deal with.

      • Ergo Robertina 5.1.1

        The economic chasm will not be reduced by closing the digital divide as it’s a symptom not a cause of poverty.
        Digital access is way down the list of what a child needs, below books, decent food, outdoor activity.
        Labour’s focus this election should be on the cost of food and housing.

        • karol

          These days digital technologies and internet access are as important to young person’s education as books.

          The digital divide is a symptom and a contributing factor to income inequality. We are not living in the 19th or early 20th century.

          • Ergo Robertina

            A Sunday Star Times piece from earlier this month is worth a read: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10233243/Classrooms-flooded-with-devices

            There’s too much focus on providing a platform, too little on what is happening on the platform.
            And this from a deputy principal:

            “It’s controlling their moods – almost like a dopamine buzz. Sometimes when it’s taken off children, particularly boys, they’re actually really angry about it. Some children will roam around the room looking for any way to get back on the device.”

            There’s big money to be made and in my view the players are co-opting the language of empowerment, progress, and achievement.

          • Ergo Robertina

            Odd. Had a comment go into moderation, and then it disappeared. EDIT: The other comment has re-appeared, sorry for the double comment.

            Big money is involved in digital learning applications, and the players have co-opted the language of progress, achievement, and empowerment.
            This Sunday Star Times piece is worth a read: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10233243/Classrooms-flooded-with-devices

            There is an obsession with platform, rather than what the kids are doing on the platform.
            Recent research shows we take in information more readily in print form than in digital form, which doesn’t mean screen-based learning isn’t valuable, but attention is needed to how to overcome that inherent deficit.
            And this, from an unnamed deputy principal, which is hardly ever acknowledged:

            “It’s controlling their moods – almost like a dopamine buzz. Sometimes when it’s taken off children, particularly boys, they’re actually really angry about it. Some children will roam around the room looking for any way to get back on the device.”

            • karol

              Yes there are always downsides to new technologies.

              The problem in recent years is that big business has been gradually taking over what often have been ideas and capabilities developed for people, at low cost at the flax roots.

              That is why government needs to step in and make low cost provisions for all, especially children and young people. That way, the intitiative can start being taken back from big business.

              The option of ignoring the realities of new technologies will not help the least well off. That will relegate the young people into a no-technology ghetto.

              Have a look at what young people are doing using free computer and web access in the libraries. Young people from low income families don’t want to be excluded from the mainstream.

  6. millsy 6

    Why do I get the feeling that this is rather underwhelming.

    Labour should be pushing for at least majority public ownership of telecommunications infrastructure and using it as a start point of a broadband rollout across the board.

    Labour did it in the 1930’s when rolling out electricity networks, it should be able to do it again.

  7. finbar 7

    Give us a job enought to pay the rent,give us a job that can afford a wage that lets us enjoy our progressive humanity.

    Doubt Claire,and her care of technolodgy would have that fairness in her mind.Just i have as should we all.Far cry from Claires,ignorance of Labour,and the right of Labours understanding.

  8. tc 8

    If it keeps the divisive and dim Curran busy who cares.

    We have not made enough progress as the UFB and rural itiatives are big telco taxpayer funded slush funds under Joyces CFH.

    Revert back to DC’s stategy he had in 08 but allow wimax into the cities to shake up the cosy chorus wired monopoly, not reading it as its not an election defining issue but as I said keeps idle hands more occupied.

  9. Sable 9

    Good to see but I doubt they will win this election. Maybe next time if they can actively build alliances with other parties and find a way to combat the nonsense spread by the MSM.

  10. Chooky 10

    Good policy all around ….and much better connectivity should be a winner in rural areas!

    ….This Labour policy should be played up!….NACTIONAL has let the RURAL BUSINESS SECTOR down very very badly with very slow and dodgey access ….unless you can afford wireless…and even this is still slower than fiber in the cities, i am told

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