Maori ignored in Commerce Commission Report

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The Commerce Commission recently released its report on High Speed Broadband and inside sits a veritable treasure trove of technical information for Maori ICT roopu, whanau SMEs who provide digital services & products, marae & land trusts and Maori geeks alike.

The Ultra Fast Broadband initiative (UFBi) and the Rural Broadband initiative (RBi) are currently being deployed in various forms throughout Aotearoa.. This report by the Commerce Commission attempts to bring together many of the technical issues that the industry and community will face over the coming decade – from networking to rewiring homes, hooking up non-standard connections to national & international connectivity.

Maori receive scant interest (one brief mention with the deal between Te Tai Tokerau Networks and China Telecom) which again signals the mainstream ignorance of Maori interests, either as providers, sellers, technicians or even as concerned land owners. Perhaps the National Maori Congress and the Federation of Maori Authorities ought to renegotiate all land-based IT infrastructure builds since the market expectation for profit is now set to dramatically accelerate.

As there is still no singular Maori ICT-focused organisation, the dilemma is that Maori will not fully grasp these reports and that analysis of value will come from either Government-led groups or single-issue roopu. The massive potential for New Zealand ICT growth can be seen in the various areas identified – Pay Per View TV, Telemedicine, ISP connections – all the while ignoring Maori centres of ICT potential – Marae Hubs, Kaumatua Services, Connected Kohanga, Kohanga & Wananga Networks – but I sense that is the challenge for Maori to pick up.

CONFERENCE 2012: The Commerce Commission will be hosting the High Speed Broadband Conference in Feb 2012. TangataWhenua.com Managing Director Potaua Biasiny-Tule has been invited to join a Panel Discussion on Maori & High Speed Broadband. Please click here for more details

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