A recent DomPost Gareth Morgan column commented "...uptake of broadband in New Zealand is pathetic and Telecom is already on the public record as not fulfilling earlier undertakings to facilitate a competitive broadband market."
A letter responding appeared today. One John Goulter of Telecom says, "An economist might note that New Zealand's broadband penetration almost exactly matches our GDP per capita. It is a fact that broadband closely matches GDP per capita in most OECD countries and we are no exception."
Let's check that. The highest broadband subscription per 100 inhabitants occurs in Korea, which is incidentally below New Zealand in GDP per capita. The richest country, Luxembourg, has only average broadband uptake. A quick look at the US shows it second from the top in GDP per capita but 12th in broadband uptake. There's three exceptions.
(Do you notice when somebody, usually a politician, is on the defensive, they default to 'we are only like the rest of the world' and when they are on the offensive or taking credit for something, we are 'world beaters - innovative, number-eight wirers punching above our weight.')
Whatever, it seems to me we have a chicken and the egg situation developing here. We supposedly have low broadband uptake because we are relatively poor but our lack of access to broadband at a competitive price will continue to impede our economic growth. Something has to give.