Previous investments and interventions by both National and Labour Governments have proved incredibly valuable, as have been the smart private sector investment supporting them.
It was only a couple of decades ago that one company owned all the phone lines and there were only two mobile networks here in New Zealand.
In 2006 Labour made changes and introduced competition by allowing other telcos to sell products and services using Telecom’s New Zealand network.
Then in 2008 National announced it would invest $1.5 billion to roll out the Ultra-Fast Broadband network.
We now have a mature and competitive telecommunications market with three network operators and a nationwide broadband network.
Our connection to the internet, and the rest of the world, is via 35,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables on the ocean floor running between New Zealand, The Pacific, Australia and the US.
This cable network ensures we have good quality, secure, dependable and cost-effective connectivity.
Without it, our telecommunications landscape wouldn’t have been able to develop as it has.
The Southern Cross NEXT project underway now will expand our capacity and connectivity even further.
A significant two-year build spanning multiple jurisdictions, the Southern Cross NEXT project will also connect parts of the Pacific with high speed internet for the first time, opening up numerous benefits and opportunities.
This is a critical factor in future proofing our connection to the world.
Submarine cables like this are very expensive and costly infrastructure builds requiring a significant amount capital up front with returns over a long period.
Without the availability of private sector investment, projects like this are unlikely to go ahead and ANZ is proud to have supported this project through our partnership with Southern Cross.
As we look to recover and re-build in the wake of COVID-19, New Zealand’s telecommunications sector is an example of long term vision and investment paying off.
Our connectivity can help us turn the barrier of geographical distance into an opportunity.