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Broadband initiatives must focus on Whole Regions

21 July 2002

Broadband initiatives must focus on Whole Regions

Federated Farmer's President Tom Lambie has welcomed action on the government's plan to roll out high-speed internet access that would benefit the rural community.

Mr Lambie was responding to Hon Trevor Mallard's announcement that tenders would be called for broadband initiatives that would be focused around schools. As part of the tender process, consideration will be given to what percentage of a region's population the broadband access can be extended to.

"However, Government must to heed the message from the regions that broadband facilities need to be provided to the whole region and not just at township and school level," said Mr Lambie.

"The Federation considers that any programme aiming for less than 100% of the population is not good enough.

"Will the tender process provide for the communities who are currently without a phone line because of under-investment in infrastructure? We hear of many instances where connections are denied because exchanges are at their limit.

"While broadband is important there is a desperate need to ensure reliable and universal coverage for basic telephone services."

ENDS


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