POLL: NBR readers verdict on funding Pacific Fibre cable

Rod Drury

The government should get behind Rod Drury's plan for a public-private partnership to fund the Pacific Fibre cable, according to NBR ONLINE readers.

In a poll conducted last week, readers were asked: Should the government back a public-private partnership to build a second fibre optic cable out of New Zealand?

Sixty-three percent said yes, while 37% disagreed.

Kim Dotcom has proposed an ambitious plan to revive Pacific Fibre, the second fibre link out of New Zealand to compete with the Southern Cross cable.

The plan involves giving free or heavily discounted broadband to residents, subsidised by charges to business and government.

Xero founder Rod Drury says that will not work and instead supports a public-private partnership model.

He has written to ICT Minister Amy Adams, asking the government to support it. 

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This would seem to be a valuable thing for Govt to do.
Willie Getonwithit.

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Go rod!

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The government has no money to "support it". The money is not the government's but the tax payers. As tax payers are also going to be the customers it should be an easy decision ... if they value it then they'll pay for it; if they don't then they won't. So no need to mug tax payers for the money after you find out that they don't value it enough to be commercially viable.

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I think the real argument is return on investment. I am dubious in that there has was so many oeople in this very forum banging on about how they needed UFB and now look, barely 1% of the homes it passes have adopted it. Due dillgence clearly needs to be done

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Due diligence was done - it was done by the market, who were shown the "opportunity" and chose not to take it. Pacific Fibre failed to get customers, and failed to get investors - doesn't that suggest that their proposition was not valued?

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Just remind me again how much Rod was putting into this venture? Deep pockets and short arms

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A second cable seems to be a long term public good for NZ, something the government (i.e. taxpayers) might do for the good of all, similar to improved roads. What I disagree with is that Drury et al should benefit from this. What do they bring to the party? Me thinks that they want the same thing as before, access to a monopolistic market and its higher returns.

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