What is your favourite habit to keep up to date with the latest technology trends?
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for concise, comprehensive tech information that is relevant. I use a mixture of news sites, twitter feeds and a great feature in Chrome on my mobile phone where it suggests articles to me based on my own habits – albeit a big invasive. But of course, there is no compromise for rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in on a piece of R&D to really understand the opportunities and constraints. Both in the hardware and software disciplines I get my hands dirty frequently.
What does ISPANZ do?
The ISP Association of New Zealand exists to promote a fair and fully competitive Internet marketplace where our members can deliver the full benefits of the Internet to the New Zealand public and our economy. In essence, keeping the landscape fair and viable for the minority and often regional providers that keep this country connected. This includes government engagement ensuring legislation does not result in anti competitive behaviour or barriers to progress.
What does your role as president involve? What are your priorities?
We have monthly board meetings to discuss the industry as a whole and set priorities for the coming month, we are all volunteers but we have some paid time from ISPANZ CEO David Haynes who prepares government papers and member update notices as well as the annual conference. Priorities for me at the moment centre around member engagement and ensuring ISPANZ is providing real value to the industry. To do this I am expanding industry involvement to reach more relevant parties both within industry (regulation) and providers (members).
What is the greatest challenge facing members of ISPANZ?
There is a lot of uncertainty with regards to future cybersecurity policies to be set by government, some of the measures being talked about could cripple smaller providers so it’s a balancing act. A lot of it comes down to information, all too often the cliché “you don’t know what you don’t know” plays a significant role in the battle for industry change – getting everyone on the same page and headed in the same direction is as much an education process as anything. And then there is the 2020 unbundling of UFB, I think this one is being largely overlooked currently. If we think back to the unbundling of the copper services it was a dramatic change that really opened the door to some new market entrants at the core of service delivery. Consider the same for the relatively new fibre network (UFB) we will be going from 143 exchanges from which to connect customers to more than 16,000 cabinets – this presents opportunity but equally some concern.
What is the greatest opportunity facing ISPANZ members? Bigger is not better when it comes to internet connectivity companies, the regional access, regional support and region specific options play a significant role in connecting all New Zealanders. The opportunity remains one of growth, market influence and leveraging the amazing backhaul networks to get everyone connected – collaboration between members as we head into 2020 and beyond will be a key success ingredient.
For more information visit http://ispanz.org.nz/