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Why Key really wants super-fast broadband

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, June 11th, 2008 - 29 comments
Categories: election funding, humour, john key, slippery - Tags: , ,

Remember National’s broadband ‘plan’ that reads like it was drawn up on the back of a napkin? Notice how the only gains they can point to from this plan to borrow $1.5 billion are better video conferencing (when was the last time the average worker used video conferencing?) and being able to download pirated movies in 7 seconds?

Like me you probably find it surprising to Key hear endorsing Internet pirating. But it begins to make sense when you hear that he came up with the idea for the broadband plan when it took five minutes to download his pirated copy of Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ for his DVD.

[incidentally, remember how Key lied about the ‘Clocks’ fiasco, first saying it wasn’t ‘Clocks’ then saying he didn’t choose the song, despite the fact he had listed Coldplay as one of his favourite bands and used ‘Clocks’ as his song at the National conference? Well, last I heard National was in negotiations for a damages payment to Coldplay. Anyone know the outcome of that? And would a payment be counted as an election expense? I think it would]

29 comments on “Why Key really wants super-fast broadband”

  1. [stop trying to threadjack with links to that moron Hickey]

    [lprent: Leave initials or something. Otherwise it seems to get assumed it is me.]

  2. Disengaged 2

    Steve I really do dispair at your leaps of logic sometimes.

    Oh, and by the way I use video conferencing at least two times a week as it saves me a fortune in flights.

  3. Lukas 3

    Video conferencing is essential in my job, I use it daily to talk to China and at the moment every other day to host a video conference between China, NZ and Fiji.

  4. ants 4

    I use video conferencing every day to talk to clients in Europe.

    There will be a time when video conferencing/calls will be ubiquitous in all homes, as long as we get a decent capability in place. Its not always going to be landline and cellphone calls….

  5. Yeah and you’re clearly not average workers.

  6. Disengaged 6

    Ok then Steve, what do you define as average workers?

    And While you are answering that. Why should businesses be prevented from having access to technologies that overcome the tyranny of distance that many face just because your mythical “average” worker can’t access it?

  7. ak 7

    uhhh…so with all our resident righties already engaging in daily video-conferencing orgies, why does the Keyster say we need to sink a couple of billion of hard-working kiwis’ tax dollars in a massive state intervention again?

  8. Disengaged. Do you really think even 5% of workers use video-conferencing on anything like a regular basis, say once a wekk?

    And remember, National’s plan isn’t to borrow $1.5 billion to get video-conferencing, they talking borrowing $1.5 billion to make it a bit better (if it’s international conferencing than National’s plan won’t help because they have nothing to boost the international links, unlike Labour’s plan).

    Those few, like yourself, who find video-conferencing useful in their roles are already using it just fine. We don’t need to borrow $1.5 billion to improve your frame-rate.

  9. ak. It does show that the right commentators who come here are, by and large, in a seperate world from the rest of us – very wealthy (you’ve seen some of the tax numbers they throw around and bitch about) and business owners.

    They don’t seem to get that most people don’t even work in offices, and most people who work in offices never use video-conferencing. I myself have worked in jobs that deal heavily in communicating with people who are far away and I’ve never used video-conferncing, never found it necessary.

    That’s not to say it isn’t useful for a very few people, but they’re already using it.

  10. Patrick 10

    I work in a largeish IT firm. We employ a few hundred people in Wellington and Auckland, and also have sizable offices in Australia.

    We do have video conference facilities to communicate between our sites, and they are promoted internally, but I have NEVER seen them being used, nor ever heard about anyone using them.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    ak – beat me to the punch. I use both tele- and video-conferencing, and I’m not aware of the requirement for a $1.5bn upgrade.

    “future proofing” might be one take on it, but in my eyes it’s a little extreme. There are only so many jobs that will take advantage of video-conferencing, while I suspect there are many more I very much doubt that the quailty of internet available is responsible, as opposed to organisational inertia and general backwardness.

    A similar example – why don’t more people work from home? the tools are there.

    1 – people can’t (like me – I need to see people and pick their brains frequently, and without warning)

    2 – it just hasn’t happened – no one suggested it.

    A whopping great expensive internet system won’t do wonders – which is, of course, why I find labour’s plan a bit more prudent. Bloody John Key wanting to Splash out with MY MONEY (retrospectively). Sheesh.

    Disengaged – I hope that helps you. Tell me, if you stocked shelves at a supermarket, wouldn’t it be great to do it from home…? Oh, and businesses shouldn’t be prevented from having it, of course not – but you’re not going to try and argue that VHS Broadband is a right, right?!

    Good luck with that.

    ants, I disagree – videocalling has been around for ages, but isn’t used, because it’s better to not have it for 99% of calls. I can cook, iron, watch TV and generally be productive while ranting away – and I don’t want to feel like I’m at a conference when I’m talking to my mates!

  12. Disengaged 12

    Steve stop being so obtuse. You know full well that a fully functioning broadband infrastructure is far more important than just video conferencing.

    The New Zealand ICT industry earned $1.6 billion dollars in export sales last year. It had total sales of $17.6 billion dollars. Don’t you think that a $1.5b investment is rather small in comparison?

    In case you hadn’t noticed New Zealand is a remote little country in the middle of nowhere. We don’t have the luxury of being in the heart of a large economic zone like Europe or America. Having an effective communications network is vital to many business that employ your “average worker”. Or would you prefer that we ignore the digital age and go back to manufacturing and farming? Hold on those industries now rely on technology to compete too. Just what is your definition of average worker Steve?

  13. djp 13

    maybe the point is to put video conferencing into the hands of the “average worker”? kinda like mass mfg put the automobile into the hands the average worker. I dunno… bleh.

    Give us the 1.5mil back and let the market decide I say! 😉

  14. video conferencing in the hands of the average worker? – what you mean like windows live messenger and skype?

    talking of foriegn media tell us about Labours inability to find a happy New Zealand family and its need to use a fake foriegn family

  15. Billy 15

    I am deeply suspicious of this broadband plan, and would have thought anyone who is properly right wing should also be.

    You lefties on the other hand should be all for it. It’s just the sort of waste of taxpayer money for no demonstrated good that you guys are usually right behind.

  16. Lew 16

    Phil Sage: Bollocks, everyone uses stock images all the time, that’s an irrelevancy.

    Billy: Heh, I’m opposed to it because it involves pouring billions of government money into Telecom for upgrades they should be doing anyway.

    Steve: I agree with djp and Disengaged that this seems like a bah, humbug luddite sort of line you’re taking. Do you genuinely not want fast broadband, or do you think the money should be spent elsewhere? If you’re going to bag the scheme, bag it on how its structured. If you’re going to question the need for a fast broadband scheme at all, then do that. What you’ve done here is take cheap shots and nothing more.

    L

  17. Felix 17

    As a money wasting scheme I’m definitely into it, but I’m not sure it’s the best way to waste it.

  18. Scribe 18

    Steve,

    Is Coldplaygate (copyright, Scribe) the new Paintergate?

  19. Felix 19

    Please don’t say affix “gate” to denote a scandal. It defies all sense.

  20. Former Labour Voter 20

    Steve Pierson again jumps the shark, and undermines his own credibility by throwing smears and allegations, with illogical leaps of fancy, that he cannot back up.

    Steve, is your employer paying you to blog for the Standard, or does that only go for the EPMU, PM’s office and Labour Party Head Office contributors to this blog?

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Lew – it would be a lot easier to bag how the scheme was structured if National would be so good as to provide some detail.

    However that’s not to say that Steve is being backwards for criticising it. In the past he’s mentioned some good criticisms of the plan – perhaps you missed the ‘humour’ tag above.

    Finally, I’m sick of someone being a luddite because they don’t support the latest technology and don’t have to have it. Unless there are valid reasons, it’s just an extention of materialistic “keeping up with the Jonses’.”

    Scribe – it was worse – one supported charity and one was an illegal copyright rip-off. How is that tacky diversion tactic working for you though?

  22. vto 22

    Mr Pierson, great photo, I burst out in a laugh!

  23. K1 23

    Steve, Steve… it’s not nice to troll.

    Videoconferencing, although occasionally useful, is by and large a wanky waste of time, IMO. Real virtual teams (eh?) are more productive with IM, shared document workspaces, and even email. Oh, and there are phones for speaking to management. Got all the tech I need already thanks, so no need to spend the $1.5bn there JK.

    Faster Porn For Farmers is just a Nat bribe to try to lock in the rural vote.

  24. imcheezy 24

    I’m sure it would still qualify as a ‘faux pas’ and be illegal and all… however, would Key’s plagiarism be anywhere near as embarrassing if the band in question weren’t the irredeemably shite and middle-class Coldplay?

  25. polaris 25

    Yet another example of SP just spouting rumours, putting words into people’s mouths etc…

    ever considered that some of the benefits of fast broadband we don’t know about yet becuase they haven’t been invented? kinda like when someone invented the telephone they didn’t know that somewhere down the track we’d have the internet, and I’d be able to sit here writing stuff which proves you’re an idiot.

  26. Snelly Boy 26

    Isn’t it totally apt that Key lists Coldplay as one of his favourite bands.

    Coldplay, who were famously referred to by Alan McGee as making music for bed wetters.

    What’s sadder is that Key more than likely included them in his listing for he thought that would make him look ‘cool’.

    The same way David Cameron has made himself look a complete twat in the UK by referencing popular music and culture.

  27. The aim to build a better broadband infrastructure isn’t the problem with National’s plan. The problem is the absence of detail and the frankly wild claims being made.

    Remember, the pitch at launch time was that 75% of New Zealanders would have fibre to their homes by 2011. They’d be lucky if they could start the project by then.

    It’s a no-brainer that fibre should be the long-term infrastructure of choice. But making an improbable promise to install fibre everywhere, all at once adds up to trampling on more practical interim steps (fibre to the nodes, 50Mbit/s VDSL to homes). I’m still unconvinced about the monopoly provider idea (especially given the lack of detail about its creation), and the costings cited by Williamson are fanciful in the New Zealand environment.

    And Key told an audience of schoolkids in Waitara last week that they’d be able to download “a movie in seven seconds”. He appeared to be promising gigabit broadband to a town of 6000 people, within the term of a government he led. For so many reasons, that is just plain bullshit.

  28. bill brown 28

    What’s the use of fibre to the home when the back end infrastructure and the link to the rest of the world are not up to the job?

    It’s like making all inner city streets 6 lanes while leaving the arterial routes gravel tracks.

  29. Phil 29

    “Coldplay, who were famously referred to by Alan McGee as making music for bed wetters”

    The NYT once described Chris Martins voice as “a cross between a yodel and a sneeze”

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