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In today's newsletter:

Nau mai, haere mai ki te pānui o TUANZ mō tēnei wiki. Welcome to the TUANZ Newsletter for this week.
 
Last week the Government released their latest quarterly update on the roll out of the UFB and RBI projects and claimed that more than a million households - 2.4 million people - are now able to access ultra-fast broadband.  According to the update (which covers up to 30 June 2016), the uptake rate is just under 24 per cent, meaning over 240,600 people are connected to fibre under the UFB project.  It also says the build is 68.2 percent complete.  The Government also announced that the RBI1 project was completed - but no word from anyone on when we might hear more about the proposed RBI2.   If you want to see the actual update you can find all the published updates here
 
Last Friday we made a brief submission to the Commerce Commission on the issues paper they released on the proposed merger between Vodafone and SKY.  We focused on the issue of premium content (i.e. Sport) and our concern over the wholesale access to that content by providers other than the merged entity.  Our submission will be published along with others on the Commerce Commissions website sometime this week.
 
Craig

 

Tickets going fast for the After5 with Spark

 
The next AFTER5 event is one with a difference.  On Tuesday 23rd August, Simon Moutter, Managing Director of Spark New Zealand will speak.  And while Simon will be physically present at Spark Auckland, members and Spark customers will be invited to attend locations in Wellington and Christchurch to be part of the event, as it will be live streamed.  Each site will provide refreshments and participants will be able to provide questions to Simon through use of a smartphone app.
 
“Accelerating New Zealand’s innovation and entrepreneurial performance – lessons from Israel, and insights for New Zealand.”
 
In May, Simon led 55 delegates representing many aspects of “New Zealand Inc.”, on our country’s first large-scale Innovation Mission to Israel. The purpose was to better understand what has driven Israel’s phenomenal commercialisation of technological innovation and entrepreneurial success, as well as determine the extent to which these factors might be replicable in New Zealand.
 
The reason was simple. The reality is, economic development in a digital world will be a highly competitive race. So it matters how fast we go – if we aren’t paddling our waka faster than the competition, we’re effectively going backwards. Come along and hear Simon’s thoughts on what the Mission observed in Israel, the insights and implications for New Zealand and some possible actions we might take to accelerate our ability to commercialise great ideas. 
 
You can register for any of the three locations as follows - remembering that the Wellington and Christchurch locations will have video links to Auckland:
 

Papers from the recent Annual General Meeting


We recently held the TUANZ AGM in Auckland on Thursday 4th August.  While there were a good number of members there on the night, many of you were unable to be there.  We have published on our website the report and the finance reports presented that evening as well as the updated constitution as passed at the meeting.  You can read them here.
 

Where's Minginui you say?


We are hugely supportive of the RBI programme that delivered fibre to the vast majority of schools in rural New Zealand.  We are also keen to see connectivity being used to support the local community in remote areas.  Last week one of our members, Shane Hobson wrote this report regarding the launch of a community service in the remote rural village of Minginui.
“I’m involved in delivering the Computers in Homes programme in the Waikato and in that role I attend several graduations each year and always ask graduates what they will use their computer and internet service for. Inevitably the answer includes mention of Facebook and TradeMe.
 
Last week I was privileged to attend a CiH graduation in Minginui hosted by Eastbay REAP & WiFi Connect Ltd.  Minginui is a small village of perhaps 40 houses situated 90 km southeast of Rotorua in the Ureweras.
 
I didn’t appreciate just how isolated some parts of NZ still are until I saw two road signs on the way to Minginui.  The first sign, about 30km out from Minginui was a standard NZTA sign warning of 95km of winding unsealed roads ahead, the second sign (with still about 20km to drive before getting to Minginui) was spray painted onto a road barrier at the sign of the road simply said “cell ph area”.
At the local school I was welcomed by friendly locals, the school principal and the chair of the Board of Trustees. I watched as 26 local families were awarded their graduation certificates and given a refurbished PC to take home. After the graduation ceremony Ivan Lomax (one of the directors of WiFi Connect) provided some pointers on setting up the PC and connecting it into the internet service that WiFi Connect had rolled out.
 
WiFi Connect has connected into the school fibre service and built a wireless network to around 30 homes in Minginui. I spoke with a couple of graduates later in the day who explained how they were using their new found connection to the outside world.  I was told (with great enthusiasm) that one had learnt how to replace the wheel bearings on his car by watching YouTube videos and his buddy had learnt how to butcher a deer properly (hunting for deer is a necessity here to put some meat on the dinner table, not just for recreation).
 
They both had cell phones on them (one of them at least was a good sized smartphone) but neither had cellphone coverage of any sort. They used their phones when they went to Rotorua (their regular shopping destination). It seems that prior to the WiFi Connect service being rolled out there were no internet options except possibly dial up.
 
Driving around Minginui it’s evident that this is a challenging place to live. I assume there is low employment, the climate and terrain, are difficult. But it was inspiring to see a new wireless internet transceiver fitted onto nearly every house in the village.  It will be interesting to track the progress of this community over time to see what effect the roll out of computers, training & broadband has.  The service in Minginui is priced at $40 per month for unlimited use.”
 

Other Interesting News


One of the workshops I participated in last week was around cyber security and one of the key things we discussed was encouraging people to think carefully about passwords.  Now there’s the suggestion that rather than worrying about making the password random - it might be easier just to make them really long (but memorable) - here’s more details from The Washington Post
 
And still talking about security - apparently millennials are cyber savvy but sadly, also cyber careless.  According to new research from ESET, millennials would be wise to listen to baby boomers in this matter! 
 
Remember the talk about forcing foreign companies to apply GST to services provided in NZ such as Netflix?  Well, that change comes into effect on the 1st October but some commentators are suggesting we won’t see any change until the new year.
 

Other upcoming events of interest to members

   
Telecommunications is a fast changing Industry full of jargon; its no wonder that we get confused! If you’d like a solid explanation of todays technologies presented by an expert in simple English over a day that is easy to follow and understand, then this is the course for you.

This non-technical, day-long programme explains current telecommunications systems like fibre, wireless,4G, Ethernet, UFB and RBI, The Internet and WorldWide Web. It will provide you with a greater understanding of the language and acronyms and help you to understand just what it is these technologies do. 

Delivered in a fun, interactive way with hands-on exercises and a quiz or two!
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