The availability and affordability of broadband services are key issues for the advancement of effective ICT, with new opportunities for economic growth, productivity improvements and social inclusion in regions challenged by geographic isolation, demographic features, high unemployment and low incomes.

We have extensive experience in advising on the impact of ICT on socio-economic development, the provision of ICT services to regional, rural and remote areas, broadband technologies and deployment costs, and all aspects of universal access and service.

Internet as an economic enabler

As part of the Australian Government project on the Future of the Internet, we explored economic and commercial developments of Internet-based communication, including new business models and distribution structures. The study was both evidence-based and forward-looking with the objective of informing policy development in a number of related economic areas including infrastructure, growth, research productivity and social wellbeing.

Rural broadband

We advised a Government in the Asia-Pacific region planning to invest in rural broadband coverage. The key objectives of the project were to: refine and specify regional boundaries; prioritise the rollout of infrastructure on a regional basis; identify any synergies that exist with other network projects; facilitate cost/benefit analysis of options and scenarios; and, identify appropriate locations of key infrastructure nodes. We developed a sophisticated model using Geospatial Information System (GIS) techniques to support our analysis.

National high-speed broadband network

We investigated options for a New Zealand Broadband Infrastructure to provide high-speed broadband access to 75% of the population, on behalf of InternetNZ. First we assessed models utilised by overseas jurisdictions to assist with planning broadband network rollout, to determine which might be appropriate for use in New Zealand. We then developed high-level business cases for the two most appropriate models identified: public-private partnership and utility business expansion.