Govt considering UFB delay?
InternetNZ and the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development today released a joint statement about rebuilding a new vibrant Christchurch underpinned by world class broadband infrastructure.
In the statement, Vikram Kumar, Chief Executive of InternetNZ, said the group has heard reports that the Government is considering scrapping or delaying the UFB initiative.
"We recognise that the Government has to make some tough economic choices,” wrote Kumar. "There are reports that the Government is considering scrapping or delaying the UFB initiative. While it is still too early to understand the shape of changes to come, we hope that the balancing and prioritisation will see funding for the UFB retained. It is critical for our longer-term future.”
When contacted for clarification about the statement, Kumar told TechDay, "Our understanding is that the option to delay or scrap the whole UFB is one of the possibilities being considered by various parts of government.
"It is still too early to know if this will really happen as it is likely to be a part of the wider economic decisions made by Cabinet. Whether this happens or not, we think treating Christchurch as a special case is a good step.”
In the joint statement Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of NZCID, said that, "a measured and balanced response to the Christchurch earthquake is now required. While a review of more discretionary infrastructure investments is necessary in the light of the investment challenge in Christchurch, now is not a time for any kneejerk cut-backs to an agreed investment programme for Christchurch, or the nation as a whole.”
You can read the full statement here.