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Broadband rollout one step closer

17 August 2006

Broadband rollout one step closer for rural Waitakere

High speed internet access is one step closer for residents in rural Waitakere after a successful bid for funding by the Waitakere City Council.

The council successfully applied to the Broadband Challenge Fund for monies to help bring fast internet services to presently underserved or remote communities.

In July the government’s Digital Strategy Steering Group approved a grant of $174,500 towards the Waitakere City Council’s project.

Mayor Bob Harvey says the funding is another step towards achieving the vision of a “wired city” that he announced some years ago and an important stepping-stone toward the goal of all Waitakere residents having access to broadband, regardless of their location.

“This extension into the currently underserved areas won’t happen overnight but at long last it will happen,” he says.

“The success of this application is just one more example of Waitakere’s unique character – we have used local companies and local people to find solutions for our local problems.”

The project has been trialled successfully in Laingholm, where 15 households have signed up to the programme.

Communications and Information Technology and New Lynn MP Minister David Cunliffe says the funding will help improve the availability and quality of broadband internet access.

“Improved broadband access is one of the keys to growing our local economy and participating fully in New Zealand’s digital future,” Cunliffe says.

The provisional funding was secured through a community partnership project, the council worked closely with the Work Raft Trust and private organisation WiMan.

***ENDS***

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