I think it is a sign that the Government is doing most things right, when most of Labour’s policies seem to be to keep the status quo and just have a lot of reviews. This is not a bad thing. An Opposition shouldn’t promise massive change just for the sake of it.
Labour’s policy is here. The details are:
- Review the Ultra-fast Broadband project
- Review the Rural Broadband Initiative
- Review the telecommunications regulatory framework
- Review the Telecommunications Service Obligations
- Encourage local authorities to include broadband availability in their online maps
- Hope someone builds a second cable, and offer the same money as National to be an anchor tenant in one
- $2.4 million a year for local Councils to roll out Internet access to low income communities
- $1.6 million a year for a pilot rural fibre connectivity scheme
- $1.3 million a year for a connectivity innovation fund
- Review the Telecommunications, Commerce and Radio Communication Acts
- Review the Copyright Act
- Review the recommendations of the Data Futures Forum
There’s nothing bad in this policy. The modest spending commitment of around $5 million could get some good results. But largely the policy is an endorsement of the status quo and almost a dozen reviews. Some seem pointless, while others are very desirable (I am very keen on a first principles review of copyright law).