It's been a wee while since I blogged, but I thought I would share with you all the comments I made today at the (to use the full formal title) 52nd Meeting of the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group, which is currently being held in Auckland, New Zealand.
As always, keen to discuss these points with our members!
Please note, this statement is not a verbatim copy of InternetNZ’s comments to the Plenary, and instead the notes from which that statement was made.
InternetNZ thanks the Chair and delegates for the invitation to join this Meeting as your guest, and joins the New Zealand Government in welcoming you to New Zealand.
InternetNZ is the designated manager for the .nz country code top-level domain and represents New Zealand at a global level through that role.
InternetNZ is also a non-profit open membership incorporated society, formed with the goal of a better world through a better Internet, and with a mission of promoting the benefits and uses of the Internet and protecting its potential.
Our interests in attending this APEC Meeting
InternetNZ is attending this meeting to demonstrate our commitment to multistakeholderism and our belief that in matters of policy impacting the Internet, decisions are made most effectively with the range of stakeholders involved and able to contribute meaningfully.
We greatly appreciate and value the relationship we have with the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, with whom we collaborate often in this spirt, and who also we thank for facilitating our participation in this Meeting.
We are also here to share our perspective on the opportunities and challenges present in New Zealand:
- The New Zealand Government and telecommunications industry is doing well in improving the base of telecommunications and Internet infrastructure available in New Zealand. InternetNZ applauds the recent announcement of a target of 99% of New Zealanders able to connect at least 50 megabits per second by 2025.
- Improved connectivity is however raising new challenges, and InternetNZ believes our national focus now needs to switch to new areas if we are to truly unlock the transformative potential of the Internet in New Zealand. InternetNZ’s areas of interest in this regard include:
- Access: infrastructure access is no longer the primary access challenge in New Zealand. Digital divides still exist however in terms of New Zealanders being able to afford to be online; through language limitations; through ability limitations; and any number of other divides that are preventing some New Zealanders from participating in our increasingly Internet-enabled economy and society.
- Use: lifting productive use of the Internet for both business and personal uses, in order to realise the vast economic and social potential the Internet enables. Research that InternetNZ helped commission shows that better business use of the Internet is a $34 Billion dollar opportunity for the New Zealand economy.
- Confidence: ensuring that all New Zealanders are confident in on the Internet through skills development that allow them to use it effectively, and ensuring that we preserve the confidence in the Internet through improved security practice and limiting surveillance.
- Potential: how else we protect the potential of the Internet and create an environment through which we can secure the myriad benefits of the Internet. This includes our focus on New Zealand domestic law as an important influence on these factors.
- The Internet is certainly one of the most incredible inventions of humanity, in terms of its ability to enable inspiration, communication, innovation and collaboration. As a “network of networks” it is also a medium that we all share, globally. We all have the ability to learn from each other and share perspectives on this resource we share; indeed, the Internet thrives when such perspectives are shared in this manner, as that is multistakeholderism in practice.