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Big Boost For Three Regions With Broadband Tender

Big Boost For Three Regions With Telecom Broadband Tender Wins

Almost 98% of homes and businesses in Taranaki, Waikato, Wellington, Kapiti and Horowhenua should be able to enjoy the benefits of broadband following the selection of Telecom as the preferred supplier for these regions under the Government’s Project Probe.

“It means that working with BCL we can extend coverage further than we’d planned,” said Telecom Chief Executive Theresa Gattung. “It will also be a real boost for these regions’ development.

“In Taranaki, we can increase existing coverage by an extra 15% so that 98% of households and businesses will be able to access the service by the end of next year. In the Waikato and Wellington regions, the tender means we can extend coverage to 97%.

“Broadband, or fast internet access, is a real shot in the arm for regional development. It provides internet access at significantly faster speeds than normal dial-up technology and allows many business applications and entertainment options that dial-up can’t deliver.

“Taranaki has been a trail blazer, with the fastest uptake of any province in New Zealand. Three local councils signed an agreement with us to underwrite the cost of delivering broadband to most of Taranaki but the uptake has been so high it’s cost them nothing.

“Most New Plymouth District Councillors can now work from a ‘virtual’ office. In Waikato and Wellington, there are businesses with multiple sites which connect operations to their head offices, thanks to broadband, to streamline accounts, access stock levels and movements and save money,” Ms Gattung said.

“Telecom is delivering broadband on its own network and beyond that, will deliver a wireless broadband service using the network that BCL is building.

“Broadband also means major competitive advantages for the farming heartlands of Taranaki and Waikato. The future is likely to see a range of potential services that will bring real value for farmers, including e-farming applications such as the remote measurement of milk quality and production and monitoring of farm systems.

“The potential for schools is also exciting. All schools in the Waikato and the Wellington, Kapiti, Horowhenua region will have access to broadband. Already a number of high schools in Waikato are linking for lessons using video-conferencing. Students can study subjects their own school doesn’t offer and teachers who may otherwise leave for the cities can remain in rural areas.

“Over the last year we’ve been to every region in New Zealand and listened to what people wanted.

“We’re keen to work alongside communities in these three regions, and elsewhere to bring alive all the benefits and possibilities that broadband can bring,” Ms Gattung said.

ENDS

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