Ultrafast delays ‘not political’
Porirua’s working class suburbs will have to wait for ultrafast broadband as the rollout heads to the plush northern parts of the city – amid claims of pork barrel politics.
As reported in Kapi-Mana News last week, Plimmerton, Papakowhai and Whitby will be among the first areas in the Wellington region to benefit from ultrafast broadband, which will be about 10 times faster than current speeds.
Cable will start being laid before Christmas, with connections available by mid-2012.
Chorus communications manager Robin Kelly says an announcement on when new fibre will be laid in other parts of Porirua will probably be made early next year. He could not say when the rollout might happen, with the nationwide project stretching through seven more years to 2019.
However, Mr Kelly denied claims rollout priorities were ‘‘pork barrel’’ politics ahead of elections.
‘‘Not at all, no. There are a number of things that need to happen from a network point of view,’’ he said.
‘‘We can’t just start rolling out fibre in an area that doesn’t have the . . . capacity to support the services that could be delivered on that network.’’
The rollout needed
be approached in a logical way, with a focus on the priority customers such as businesses, schools and medical centres, he said.
That meant applying set criteria to selections – and areas needed a network ‘‘backbone’’ to be included in the initial group.
Mana MP Kris Faafoi said the areas chosen for the first wave of the rollout ‘‘smells of pork barrel politics’’.
‘‘Our communities in the Kapiti Coast and many other parts of Porirua have been overlooked when they are in need.
‘‘There is an acute need for fastspeed internet right across all our communities, but the announcement of the priority areas looks like National is desperately trying to shore up its vote.’’
But the National candidate for Mana, List MP Hekia Parata, was delighted by the rollout.
‘‘It’s a key part of our plan to build a stronger economy,’’ she said.