Wgtn’s UFB woes
Wellington has missed out on being among the first regions to receive ultra fast broadband fibre, a decision that will negatively impact economic growth in the region and nationally, says Greater Wellington chairwoman Fran Wilde.
Communications Minister Steven Joyce announced last week the government had selected partners to lay fibre-optic cable to homes and businesses in nine other North Island cities and towns, with construction of the network to start in Whangarei before Christmas.
Ms Wilde said it was understandable that the cost of the actual rollout for Wellington was challenging, but a recent Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) report showed the medium to long term economic benefits were massive.
It suggested early roll-out of ultra fast broadband (UFB) in the Welling- ton urban areas would add an additional 11 per cent to the region’s overall GDP by 2026, compared with a contribution of 8.9 per cent that the nation-wide roll-out will make to New Zealand’s overall GDP.
‘‘These numbers show that the national economy would benefit from the Wellington region being in the forefront of the government’s UFB roll-out,’’ Ms Wilde said.
‘‘The report also shows that the greatest uptake and productivity gains from UFB are in the creative industries, central government, education and health – all key sectors in our regional economy, accounting for a quarter of all jobs in urban Wellington. Importantly, some of these sectors are also growing faster here than nationally.’’
Mr Joyce said announcements on how the network would be built in other cities would be made ‘‘soon’’.