InternetNZ: 5 questions

Dave Farrar asked each of the 12 candidates for the 5 InternetNZ councilor spots to answer some questions. I’m one of the candidates, and as they were good questions I’m posting the answers here.

What do you consider the (up to) three biggest threats to InternetNZ’s vision of an open and uncaptureable Internet?

  1. Insufficient infrastructure and lack of genuine competition in the exchange to home, national backhaul and international capacity markets. All three of these markets need to be resolved so that ISPs can afford to offer customers plans that are cheap, high speed and essentially uncapped. Failing to get this done keeps us behind the rest of the world and will stifle our ability to provide innovation and a stream of 16 year olds coming out with the next big thing.
  2. Any legislation or regulation that seeks to deny personal access to the internet for any reason that does not also involve jail time.
  3. Any drop in pace, professionalism or passion by the wider community on the issues (s92A, ACTA etc) that just keep arising and need to be dealt with.  Along with that I’d add any change in the way the Government (including the opposition and public service) does business, as they have a great track record of engagement and change in the last year in particular (s92A, ACTA).

Council governs InternetNZ on behalf of members. How would you ascertain the opinions of members on important decisions?

This is a bit of a trick question – InternetNZ’s constituency goes well beyond the 200 or so members, reaching all domain name registrants and indeed all New Zealanders. So the council needs to understand issues from the point of view of members, constituents and in the perspective of what is happening in other jurisdictions and across government, industry and society.

Three ways I stay in touch are:

  1. Through the InternetNZ email lists, including PAG (political action group). I’ve also been a long-time subscriber to Dave Farber’s IP list, which provides a US/global perspective
  2. Through my own interactions with a wider community of people, government and businesses, internetNZ members or not.
  3. Through research. There are some issues in our space that are wide and deep

I blog, write columns for newspapers and speak here and there. I try to do research to make sure what I write or talk about is correct. <no really I do>
Are there any activities that InternetNZ is not currently undertaking, that you think we should be undertaking?
Membership drive: Our membership numbers (200 or so) are hardly representative and should be higher. We don’t have to do much, but a little promotion and a refresh of the website and payment system is perhaps due.

If InternetNZ was to suddenly gain $3 million, what do you think they should do with it?
It’s not a lot of money, so I’d put it into commissioning research (preferably by people on retainer) to gather trusted information on key issues. For example, we could turbocharge the work on helping the Government understand the benefits of open data by commissioning a report on the economic benefits of such.

The alternative is of course to reduce the domain fees again.

If you had to choose, which would you choose as your least bad option – an Australian style filter for the Internet or an American imposed three strikes and you’re disconnected policy for copyright infringement?

Hobson’s choice, but I’d go with a filter, as at least we will have partial connection. Neither of these are acceptable, and it is good to see Australia’s position soften somewhat in recent days.

Published by Lance Wiggs


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