The farmers weighing in on broadband issue this week is significant. The traditional old economy joins the new economy in laying out the importance of connecting New Zealanders to the world.
While the two main parties squabble over the extent of domestic fibre penetration, what would really make the New Zealand boat go faster is connecting our remote island nation to the global economy.
Numbers as low as $700m have been thrown around to connect NZ inc to the rest of the planet, unlockling the vast benefits to business, education, entertainment and health.
The market has shown that if a private company equity funds our connection it is priced for scarcity. If the government created the framework for debt funding our international connection – pricing can be cost plus. Broadband is a user pays model. This may not cost the government any money to fix.
Imagine how popular it would be for the political party who gets this. We could hire the ship. All of New Zealand could track daily progress as we lay our cable to the world's biggest markets.
Connecting New Zealand to the world could be our new red socks campaign. Team New Zealand working together. That is our competive advantage.
Let's start now.
Chief Executive, Xero