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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news