Bruce Simpson’s withering attack on ICT-NZ was a bitÂ like a small furry mammal dismembering a termite nest, but it has brought supporters of the proposed ICT industry supra-organisation scurrying to its defence.
Kudos to Garth Biggs for fronting on Simpson’s blog to respond to some fairly searching questions (and some rather ill-informed criticism). There has been so much rumour and innuendo circulating in the industry about what ICT-NZ is up to that this impromptu blog debate has been quite a tonic. Given the amount of public funds already spent on websites by both ICT-NZ and HiGrowth it is somewhat surprising that there is such a paucity of public information available on both initiatives. The intentions are good, but communicating the vision out to the communities of interest has perhaps not been such a roaring success.
It will be a positive if Biggs gets the cash he needs, but he may have a hard time loosening the purse strings. Despite some nice successes in the past, governmental agencies areÂ generallyÂ bailingÂ out of supporting super networks, expecting them to be self-sustaining these days.Â InsteadÂ the focus is nowÂ on smart niches in the ICT communityÂ where they can generate measurable outcomes more quickly. Examples of this approach include Land New Zealand, UCi3 and NextSpace.
Forget termite mounds, ICT-NZ and Hi Growth have still got some mountains to climb. Just how do you amalgamate a highly competitive $15 billion industry under a single flag anyway? Given that ICT has become somewhat of a political football lately, it seems like a tough job.