Ultra-fast web connection set for rural towns
‘‘Overall this is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand.’’
Horowhenua’s smallest towns are getting a boost with the Government’s announcement to roll out more ultra-fast broadband.
Waikawa Beach, Waitarere, Ohau and Manakau are some of the towns that will benefit from the extension, as well as towns in Kapiti, including Peka Peka, Te Horo, Otaihanga.
Otaki MP Nathan Guy said the rollout in Paraparaumu and Levin was very successful and it was great news to have it extended to people living in smaller areas. ‘‘Fast and reliable internet is becoming essential in the 21st century.’’
Being able to connect businesses with each other and the rest of the world would be a real boost to the region, Guy said.
‘‘Overall this is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand with more than $2 billion to provide access to world-class broadband.’’
The rollout is part of the Government’s $270 million investment to complete the entire ultrafast broadband network by the end of 2022.
Levin got ultra-fast broadband mid-2017 and an announced was made in January 2017 that Foxton, Foxton Beach and Shannon would also get ultra-fast broadband.
Horowhenua Economic Development Board member Antony Young said building and strengthening broadband capability across the district would widen economic prosperity, social wellbeing and drive education equality.
Horowhenua’s population was growing so better broadband would enable businesses, including small enterprises to flourish, Young said. In turn, this would attract more businesses, he said.
The Horowhenua Culture and Community Centre was an example of ultra-fast broadband enabling access to the internet for a range of groups including older people, socially-isolated people, youth and jobseekers, Young said.
The Government is also investing up to $140m to extend rural broadband coverage and to provide mobile coverage in black spots to 1000 kilometres of state highways.
The Ruapehu district will also benefit from the latest rollout announcement.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said improved mobile and broadband services would mean better visitor experiences and the opportunity for rural communities and businesses to take full advantage of better connection.
Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney said there was good progress being made but there still needed to be more coverage in rural areas.
Waitarere Beach is one of the small Horowhenua towns set to get ultra-fast broadband.