Conroy praises Korea broadband push at KANZ conference

Minister gushes compliments for Korea's broadband play

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has praised Korea for its use of broadband infrastructure to boost its economic fortunes.

In his address to the Korea, Australia, New Zealand (KANZ) broadband summit in Auckland, Conroy pointed to Korea's sixth place ranking in OECD countries for broadband penetration and first place for fibre access as enviable statistics.

"Importantly, for other countries targeting broadband and ICT investments to stimulate economic growth, Korea provides a significant example of the capacity to succeed," Conroy said in his speech.

"Although Korea was among the nations hardest hit by the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, the country turned a disaster into an opportunity to grow its IT sector.

"Spending on broadband and other high-technology equipment helped lead a transformation of the economy."

The praise comes a day after Conroy's shadow, Senator Nick Minchin, used the publication of a new report into the productivity of high speed broadband to reiterate his call for a full-cost benefit analysis of the NBN.

The report, The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity which studied 6000 New Zealand businesses, found while broadband adoption did boost productivity, no productivity differences where found across different types of broadband.

The implication - that high speed broadband delivered by the NBN may not result in greater productivity than that which is facilitated by current broadband speeds – was seized upon by Minchin as further evidence as to why the Rudd Government must commit to a full cost-benefit analysis.

In his address Conroy made no mention of the report, instead saying "Australia makes no apologies for taking decisive action to establish our ICT foundations".

The minister also said the next KANZ Summit will be held in the next 12 to 18 months in Australia.

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Tags Senator Stephen ConroyNational Broadband Network (NBN)KANZ broadband summit

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