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Far North Broadband Proposal welcomed

22 August 2001 Media Statement

Far North Broadband Proposal welcomed

Communications and Information Technology Minister Paul Swain has welcomed a Northland initiative to get broadband into the Far North community.

The proposal sprung from a report funded by the Ministry of Economic Development. That report was to perform an analysis of the telecommunications environment in the Far North and to develop a telecommunications strategy.

A key issue is how to accelerate broadband (high speed internet access) into the Far North.

The result is a proposal which would involve a partnership between the Far North District Council, the Far North Development Trust, government, telecommunication suppliers and other local and national businesses.

Paul Swain says many regions are looking at ways of addressing the issue of broadband access.

"What the Far North has come up with is quite a unique model," he said.

"Essentially it involves bundling local demand from the community to get services from telecommunication providers.

"A locally owned structure would provide a framework to bundle the demand and a framework through which telecommunication providers could work with the local community to meet the Far North's objectives.

"The next step is to put this model into practice. The government is considering its role in this and will be making announcements next month," Paul Swain said.

ENDS

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