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How Many Sleeps Till We Get Real Bandwidth? 25 September 2000 Edition
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NZ's Net users should soon be feeling the excitement that little kids feel as Christmas draws near. The kind of thrill that makes it hard to get to sleep at night and wakes you just as the sun rises each morning.

Why?

Because in just a few short months, New Zealand's international bandwidth shortage should be relieved and, with any luck, web-surfing speeds and downloads will improve significantly.

The commissioning of the big fat digital pipe that is The Southern Cross cable should also see some improvement broadband access prices with, one might hope, even the prospect of flat-rate ADSL from Telecom.

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As I mentioned earlier this month, the massive increase in bandwidth, combined with a sagging Kiwi dollar could also make NZ's web-hosting services internationally competitive.

Start scratching the days off your calendar and if you don't have a broadband Internet connection then order one today.

The key players in NZ's local broadband market are ihug's Ultra, Telecom's Jetstream, Saturn, Chello and Walker Wireless.

Have I missed any?

The Great Kiwi News Site
Thanks to all those who responded to my call for comments last week in the area of local news sites.

It seems that virtually nobody considered 4 NZoom.com to be a real player. Too little news delivered too late was the general concensus.

4 The NZ Herald received more favourable comments, most commenting that it was usually up-to-date, some even admitting that they no longer buy the print edition because the online version is so comprehensive.

4 Stuff.co.nz scored well for its regional coverage -- although many of those who felt this was a good thing also complained that it could still be better. Some people did suggest that the Infotech section of Stuff was too heavily biased towards carrying press-releases rather than stories.

Of course I forgot to mention 4 XTRA which now has a fairly comprehensive news section. This oversight was remedied by a number of readers who were kind enough to remind me and advise that they considered it pretty good.

I also omitted to mention 4 NewsRoom and was also suitably chastised for doing so. Of we can't forget 4 Scoop either. Both of these sites are an excellent local news resource with plenty of coverage of political events.

It's not surprising that nobody put in a good word for 4  TV3's awful site as a decent news source. After enjoying a "coming soon" page for so long, I was kind of hoping that the TV3 site, when it launched, would be something really good. Unfortunately it's a real disapointment and the news section is an ergonomic mess.

It would appear that when it comes to news, we're spoilt for choice -- although some of the choices are less than perfect.

You Saw It Here First
IDG's website carries a story this morning in which they report that the Commerce Commission is eyeing the SkyBiz business scheme with some concern.

It's good to see that the word is finally getting around after Aardvark exposed this dubious business in the August 9th edition.

Remember -- you saw it here first ;-)

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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The Day's Top News
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4  NZ group vaults Olympic peaks
New Zealand may be languishing near the bottom of the Olympics medals tally, but Wellington-based IT company Compudigm International is already counting the Sydney Olympics as a huge victory...
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4  Commerce Commission warns on SkyBiz Web scheme
The Commerce Commission is warning people against joining a Web site sales scheme saying that it could be pyramid selling...
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4  Pirates Invade Book Publishing
A website that offered links to free downloads of entire texts of copyrighted books by famous authors has changed its homepage and is denying it ever existed. But the question remains: What can the publishing industry do about this Napster-ization of books?...
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4  Palm Virus Hits, But Don't Worry
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4  Pentium 4 to debut next month
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4  [US] Government debuts all-in-one Web site
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4  Olympics IT boom to continue: Carr
THE building of a $75 million IT centre in Sydney's dot.com corridor was evidence of the city's post-Olympic investment clout, NSW Premier Bob Carr said today...
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4  Australia closing technology gap
A report released by Merrill Lynch has revealed Australia is closing in on international counterparts as a fast track new economy and technology player...
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4  Teenager to deny alleged ties to child porn website
A Perth teenager accused of promoting child pornography through a website will deny he is responsible for its illicit images, the Children's Court was told....
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4  Punters mugged in Eisa debacle
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4  Techs down but not out
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4  Musicians Protest Dot-Com Takeover
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4  Cisco Preps Artillery Of Security Products
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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request