“NZ needs to Ensure Broadband to Everyone for E-content Development”

What e-content means in New Zealand:

A: It is not how does it work but rather what its purpose is. e-content is about health, politics, science, education, business, entertainment; all being the main social issues of daily human life in which people not only have the right and the opportunity to communicate but should also have access to the use of the best applications to further increase knowledge and progress in their daily work and lives.

What is the current status of e-content in your country, including national e-content development across all the sectors of the industry?

A small but vibrant software industry has emerged in New Zealand, and has become competitive both locally and in exports to foreign markets such as Australia, Southeast Asia, and the U.S.

Export sales are small by global standards, but are a promising sign of the industry’s potential.

Few major ICT multinationals have export facilities in New Zealand, and a small venture capital community has emerged to fund high potential businesses. Local entrepreneurs have used the country’s geography to create a competitive advantage in security software, because the local time zone allows them to detect and address problems first in the global business day.

While very IT literate and innovative, New Zealand’s IT industry has yet to attract outside investment due to its small domestic market.

Despite this, e-content in Aotearoa New Zealand is well developed and well utilized by most sectors of society and despite the limited investment in the content sector the climate is changing. A high level of quality digital content is a natural output of our high level of ICT spending and web use in New Zealand. Advanced online banking are very advanced, online media (i.e. major dailies, Radio & TV) and a strong independent web media presence all testify to the fact that New Zealand is well developed in the content area. There is no doubt that as we progress, New Zealand will, like our films, sit very comfortably along with the best in the world. The focus has been on the infrastructure without the same attention being paid to the content industries.

Which e-content area is best developed in your country?

Education is probably the best adopter in the development of content and access, followed by business. The other sectors are fairly consistent in New Zealand, with much of the better development being bilingual.

The government sector is now developing a central strategy with which e-democracy will become more firmly evolved and simultaneously encouraging the provision of skills and tools for accessing the information.

Which sectors in your country are the leaders in e-content development?

It is really the private sector that has lead the way by investing in really useful applications such as banking. Central and local government, including cultural agencies are developing content, and the focus must be on developing a more interactive two-way process, encouraging both skill and tools

Please list the major initiatives which have influenced and spurred the development of e-content in your country.

The increase in the ICT tertiary graduates from both Universities and Polytechnics has impacted dramatically on the awareness, understanding and capability available in the marketplace.

The establishment of a number of independent ISPs has stimulated the market substantially. On the other hand, the dotcom crash created a very conservative climate in which an excited industry was severely curtailed.

New Zealand has a propensity for overseas best practice and we have brought a disproportionate number of visitors to New Zealand to ‘show us how to do it’. Whilst this has stimulated the climate, local solutions have, until recently, been second in line to overseas products and services.

How do you see the future of e-content development in your country?

From the mid 1990s there has been a steady increase in use and uptake and development of e-Content. New Zealand experienced a boom (from the mid to late nineties), followed by a number of crashes. The high tide year was 1999. However, the last three years has seen a steady rise, due, in part to the development of good content management systems, which facilitate and enable content provision with more ease.

What have been the major bottlenecks in the development of e-content in your country?

A conservative environment has forced a re-evaluation and rationalization to establish appropriate business models to justify the development of web strategies and the development of e-Content.

New Zealand needs to urgently ensure that Broadband is available to everyone and to all regions at a reasonable cost for full development of e-Content to be justified.

Because New Zealand is geographically distant from the rest of the world, the implementation of Next Generation Internet is crucial for New Zealand to be able to not only take advantage of our time differences for competitive business but also to be connected globally for research collaboration and the promotion of products and services.

In developed countries ICT has become part of daily life and e-content development is primarily left to the initiatives of individuals or organizations. On the other hand, in less developed countries, the development of e-content is largely dependent on ICT infrastructure. Please give a detailed analysis of the situation in your country.

New Zealand’s overall Networked Readiness ranking of eleven in the world is particularly reflective of the country’s relative strength in Network Use, (in which it ranks ninth overall) vis-à-vis its network Enabling Factors in which the nation ranks twenty first.

Government ICT initiatives, the entrepreneurial nature of New Zealanders, profitable business opportunities for businesses and a slowly liberalizing telecommunications industry have produced a varied and often inconsistent Networked Readiness landscape in New Zealand.

How would you describe the ICT scenario in your country? Please describe it in terms of infrastructure, penetration, acceptance and policies.

There is a highly developed ICT infrastructure with few restrictions such as censorship. Because of the extremely high uptake of ICT, New Zealand is often the ‘test bed’ for US technology companies.

The scale and size of New Zealand plus with the national culture of innovation, coupled with the need to use technology to shrink distance to markets, all contribute to the early adoption of ICT.

The poor model chosen for the privatization of New Zealand’s major telecommunications company has created a monopoly that has moved slowly on the development of BB throughout New Zealand. The recent ruling on the unbundling of the local loop is the first serious attempt in trying to address this issue.

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