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Faster broadband in South Westland

18 June 2014

Faster broadband in South Westland

Four communities in South Westland now have access to faster broadband, as a result of the Government’s $300 million Rural Broadband Initiative.

“People living in Haast township, Hannahs Clearing, Neils Beach and Jackson Bay can access the internet at speeds that are around twice as fast as before,” says Chris Bishop, Manager ICT Policy and Programmes at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

This project is an extension of earlier plans to provide faster wireless broadband for the local primary schools, including Haast School, which is situated several kilometres away from Haast township.

“Faster, reliable broadband supports business connectivity and economic growth, as well as making a big difference to local schools, health services, the hundreds of tourists who visit each year, and of course the local communities,” Mr Bishop says.

The government has invested $150,000 in this project, with similar investment from Araneo, to extend the faster broadband into these areas.

Previously the only choice of broadband service in the region was via a satellite connection.

A new microwave link between the local communities and the rest of the network is being used to provide wireless broadband via new WiFi sites in each of the four communities. This wireless broadband has maximum download/upload speeds of 10/2 megabits per second (Mbps), and is faster and more reliable than satellite services.

In addition, customers in Haast township, Hannahs Clearing and Neils Beach now have access to copper-based broadband for the first time, on a similar basis to towns in other parts of New Zealand. The copper-based services are delivered by ADSL2+ equipment that has been installed alongside existing Chorus cabinets and at the Haast exchange.

Additional government funding was made available for this project following the closure of several small and remote schools in the Westland region that had been scheduled to receive faster broadband under the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative.


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