Joyce address to NZCS conference

I’m in Rotorua for the NZ Computer Society 50th anniversary conference.

Steven Joyce spoke on how Governments are not good at innovation – tried that in an experiment known as the Soviet Union. Said innovation happens in all the companies and firms that are represented at this conference, and the Government’ job is to try and facilitate a supportive environment.

He said that copper has done better than anyone expected, but fibre is the future. The current investment in copper is about catching up with the rest of the world, while the planned investment in fibre is designed to give NZ a competitive advantage – an advantage that the NZ Institute says could be worth over $2b a year in extra GDP.

While most focus is on the $1.5b urban fibre project, Joyce said he considers the rural broadband situation is more urgent as around half our rural citizens still can only get dial-up. I thought this was ironic as the speed at the conference hotel had slowed down to dial-up also!

I missed most of Paul Matthews response, as both the wireless and mobile Internet connections were frozen so had to reboot my laptop.

Conference Chair Liz Eastwood is doing a show and tell of technology from the past – the slide show projectors we used to use to show off our holidays, and the telex machines etc etc. You do forget how much the world has changed!