Curran forming digital advisory group to answer 11 questions

Do we need to be accelerated toward a 5G future?
Clare Curran

Communications minister Clare Curran is forming a 15-person digital advisory committee, which will have a brief to answer 10 questions.

Those 11 questions (see foot of article) will include ways to speed the adoption of 5G — something that will give Chorus hope. The network operator recently proposed that it build a shared 5G mobile network (to scorn from Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Vocus, and dubiousness from NBR).

Ms Curran says she's seeking members from all backgrounds, and all perspectives. Budding appliants can apply here. Applications close January 31.

The comms miinister is also looking to fill the new role of government chief technology officer (CTO)  "with responsibility for preparing and overseeing a ‘National Digital Architecture’ or roadmap for the next 5-10 years."

Rod Drury and other tech leaders lobbied parties to support a CTO role, and were successful in getting the policy adopted by both Labour and National. 

Ms Curran has also taken over the National-led government's Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill, which is now at the select committee stage. The bill will set the regulatory landscape after 2019. The minister says she will not make any comment on the legislation until submissions close in February.

The minister says she's planniing a similar group around open government.

The 11 questions the digital advisory group will consider

1.What is the current state of the ICT sector and ICT capability throughout the economy, society, and government?

2.What are the possible future scenarios and their relative merits?

3.What would be required to achieve an optimal future state?

4.What should a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement look like?

5.How might we most effectively work together to build our digital economy, improve productivity and increase the economic benefits of the internet?

6.How might we better understand the ‘digital divides’ between people who can have access to the internet and can use digital tools, and those who do not?

7.What would it take to eliminate digital divides by 2020?

8.How might we identify develop the skill sets needed for the work of the future?

9.Do we need to take steps to accelerate/optimise infrastructure rollouts such as UFBl/2/2+, RBl2 and 5G? If so, what steps could and should we take?

10.How should Government evolve its own ICT use in sectors where it plays a prominent role, such as health, education and justice?

11.What would be needed for New Zealand to:

a.Increase its position relative to other countries in measures like the Networked Readiness index

b.Increase the amount that ICT contributes to GDP so that it is the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025?

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