bungled its $36 billion high-speed internet rollout” but that he could actually explain how it had managed to do so. Now it is fair to say that I am not one of the greatest fans of the extremely costly Australian government-financed and -operated nationwide fast broadband policy. The National Broadband Network (NBN) as originally conceived to deliver fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to nearly 94 percent of households was, at the original price tag of A$43 billion, the most expensive infrastructure project ever embarked on by the Australian government. In only a few years, the price tag had blown out to A$72.6 billion, and the scheme was running far behind the original deployment targets. Following a change of government in 2013, a review of the project was commissioned, which led to downscaling to a more modest “Mixed Technology Model” (MTM), estimated to incur a net loss to the economy of only A$620 per household, as opposed to the fiber-only A$2,220. Not surprisingly, given the headline, I was expecting to see something along these lines.
Dr. Arthur Grimes and a team of researchers at Motu Economic and Policy Research have been beavering away on several projects assessing the payoffs of New Zealand’s costly UFB initiative.
the deadweight loss of Christmas” (and Hanukkah, Saturnalia, and any other festivities observed in late December and early January) — the costs to the economy of gifts given being valued less by the recipients than the price paid by the donor. Reflecting on the deadweight loss of Christmas inevitably leads (for a technology policy scholar) to considering the deadweight losses associated with government and municipal beneficence in gifting fiber broadband networks to constituents.
September 2016 survey of 1000 New Zealand small and medium business enterprises (SMEs). In New Zealand, ‘small’ businesses have fewer than 20 employees, and ‘medium’ between 20 and 199 employees. It is somewhat sobering for policymakers and cloud-based service providers who believe that “cost-effective, reliable internet infrastructure is an absolute must for all businesses, wherever they may be, in order to keep up with new ways of attracting and servicing customers,” and view government subsidies for network deployment as imperative, that the New Zealand data appear to confirm that demand for fast fiber connections is as lacklustre amongst SMEs as it is amongst residential consumers.