Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


$150 million boost for Rural Broadband Initiative

Hon Amy Adams

National Party Spokesperson for Communications and Information Technology

26 August 2014 Media Statement

$150 million boost for Rural Broadband Initiative

National’s Communications and Information Technology spokeswoman, Amy Adams, today announced a re-elected National-led Government will establish a new $150 million fund to extend the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).

Ms Adams made the announcement in Greymouth with Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key.

“The RBI is making an immense difference to the way our rural firms do business, the way our kids learn and the way our health services deliver to us as patients,” Ms Adams says.

“Already, nearly 250,000 households and businesses have access to faster broadband under the RBI. However, National wants to see more rural homes and businesses benefit from faster, more reliable internet.

“Therefore, if re-elected, we will legislate a three-year extension of the current Telecommunications Development Levy of $50 million a year to create a new $150 million extension of the Rural Broadband Initiative. The levy is currently set at $50 million a year until June 2016, and will now be extended at $50 million a year until June 2019.

“Of that $150 million, National will make $100 million available through a contestable fund for communities to improve their connectivity through fixed broadband to homes and businesses. We expect communities, councils and service providers will bid into the fund.

“The criteria for the fund will focus on enhancing connectivity across areas outside the Ultra-Fast Broadband footprint.


“This extension will mean a greater number of rural New Zealanders will be able to improve their connectivity.”

In addition to improving broadband in rural areas, National will also create a $50 million fund to extend mobile coverage in the more remote parts of New Zealand, and fill black spots on main highways and in key tourist areas.

“State Highway 6, which runs along a significant proportion of the West Coast, would be a top candidate for this fund. So would State Highway 73, the main route between Christchurch and the West Coast. Both are major tourist routes and improvements to mobile coverage would be welcome,” says Ms Adams.

“Mobile phone coverage is an essential form of connectivity, and can be even more important in our rural and remote towns, where it has benefits from a public safety perspective.

“Boosting mobile phone coverage also has the ability to help grow productivity in our regions.

“Today’s announcement is part of National’s programme to deliver world-class connectivity to drive innovation, create jobs and grow New Zealand’s economy.”

Ms Adams says the Telecommunications Development Levy was set up primarily to provide higher-quality broadband and internet connectivity for rural New Zealanders. The levy is paid for by large telecommunication providers.

“The levy means more New Zealanders – particularly those in rural and remote areas – can stay connected to the rest of the world. It has funded the creation of the $300 million Rural Broadband Initiative, along with other projects like the relay service for the deaf and hearing impaired. Its extension will allow further major improvements in rural broadband to the benefit of all New Zealanders. ”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On The Economic Bad News (And Turkey’s Fears About The Kurds)

Traditionally, voters regard National as a more competent manager of the economy. It is the sole upside of crony capitalism: surely these guys must know what their mates in business want and need. These last few months though, have put that faith sorely to the test... More>>

ALSO:

Discussion Document: Fresh Look At Family Violence Laws

A discussion document launched today takes a hard look at the way the law prevents and responds to family violence, and proposes a comprehensive rethink to strengthen New Zealand’s legislative response. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news