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Taranaki online for a Technology Future

17 July 2002


Taranaki online for a Technology Future

Telecom and the New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki district councils today launched a groundbreaking plan to deliver fast Internet access to most of Taranaki.

As part of the plan Telecom began to switch on 15 Taranaki exchanges using its world-class ADSL broadband technology which will deliver fast Internet to 83 percent of the region.
Hawera, Stratford and Bell Block are the first of the 15 exchanges to have Telecom’s technology installed.

Telecom also announced it is partnering with Broadcast Communications Limited (BCL) for the first time to trial extending broadband to the more remote areas of Taranaki using wireless technology.

“Taranaki is leading the country. It is well on its way to becoming the most wired region in New Zealand,” Telecom Chief Executive Theresa Gattung said today.

“We have a magic combination – a strong Telecom-community relationship making the most of Telecom’s broadband expertise and technology and BCL’s extensive wireless technology to deliver fast Internet to as many of our customers as possible.

“The Telecom/BCL relationship is revolutionary for Taranaki, but also for New Zealand,” Ms Gattung said. “We are going to work together to get fast Internet way beyond the current reach.”

“The combined technologies of both companies could potentially deliver broadband to up to 97 percent of the country. We believe that is the closest anyone will get to covering all of New Zealand.”

BCL Managing Director Geoff Lawson said, “BCL is committed to providing world-class wireless solutions to meet customers' strategic business needs. The new relationship with Telecom is in line with our aim of exploring new opportunities in delivering wireless solutions with retail partners such as Telecom.”

“This venture in Taranaki is significant because it is BCL’s first strategic relationship with a retailer and will enable Taranaki residences and businesses to enjoy the advantages of broadband,” Mr Lawson said.

Ms Gattung said the foresight demonstrated by community leaders in Taranaki had opened up a world of opportunity for Taranaki and showed what could be achieved with a collaborative approach.

“Telecom is delighted to be involved in this project and we are committed to a long-term strategic relationship with the community.”

Telecom will be working with the local community on other initiatives such as a Virtual Private Network for schools - a specially designed network to allow schools to communicate with each other - and the establishment of a business incubator.

The exchanges being upgraded are at Waverley, Patea, Hawera, Manaia, Eltham, Stratford, Opunake, Inglewood, Oakura, Bell Block, Frankleigh Park, Spotswood, Urenui, Waitara and Okato. All upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year and the majority by September.

The exchange upgrades will mean that initially, at least 73 percent of Taranaki schools and all secondary schools will have access to fast Internet.

The Councils have agreed to underwrite the project for a maximum of $566,000.
Depending on the level of JetStream uptake within an 18-month period the cost to the Councils reduces and will be nothing if targets are met.

The Telecom/BCL trial is expected to deliver download speeds of 128 kilobits per second, burstable to 512 kilobits per second in parts of Taranaki that cannot be serviced by ADSL. The wireless solution will be delivered over BCL’s DMR network using Airspan Networks equipment.

New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki district councils have worked in association with Venture Taranaki, iTaranaki and Telecom to deliver this initiative to their communities.

JetStream has download speeds up to 50 times faster than a standard dial-up connection* so surfing web pages for research or downloading software and large files is more convenient.

Users do not need to dial up each time they want to check email messages, and are able to talk on the phone or send a fax at the same time as they are logged onto the net, using only one phone line.

*******

*Excludes JetStream Starter, an introductory product that is faster than a standard dial-up connection.

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Speech Notes
Theresa Gattung
Launch of Taranaki Community Broadband –
Our Online Future
New Plymouth District Council Chambers

Embargoed until 2.30pm Wednesday 17 July 2002

Introductions

Minister of Communications Paul Swain, Harry Duynhoven MP, Mayors of New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki District Councils – everyone here in New Plymouth, all of you there in Stratford, and those in Hawera – it’s fantastic to be with you today.

Taranaki is turning heads across the country – and internationally – with the amazing things going on here.

Bringing Hollywood and Tom Cruise down under made us all stand up and take notice.

So did your record levels of business confidence and stunning economic growth rates.

And it’s time to turn heads again as Taranaki shows the vision to become the most connected community in New Zealand.

The Taranaki-Telecom relationship we’re announcing today will see Taranaki taking a massive leap ahead of the rest of New Zealand.

Thanks to the vision and foresight of the New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki District Councils, Venture Taranaki and iTaranaki, you’re well on the way to becoming the most wired region in New Zealand.

Telecom is incredibly excited to be a part of Taranaki’s future.

It reflects our commitment to one of New Zealand’s most vibrant regions. It’s also a working example of Telecom’s commitment to our customers, regardless of where they live.

That commitment means within 4 months 83% of the Taranaki community will be able to get JetStream – Telecom’s fast Internet product - delivered using our world-class ADSL technology.

You are now positioned to do some really amazing things using this technology.

The communities of Waverley, Patea, Hawera, Manaia, Eltham, Stratford, Opunake, Inglewood, Oakura, Waitara, Bell Block, Frankleigh Park, Spotswood, Urenui and Okato will all have the access to the same technology as big business in Auckland’s Queen Street.

On top of that I am excited to announce today between Telecom and Broadcast Communications Limited (BCL) are partnering to trial wireless technology to extend fast Internet access to the more remote areas of Taranaki.

The Telecom BCL moves are groundbreaking for Taranaki and for the whole of New Zealand. Our trial here sets the scene for all our customers in remote and rural areas.

For Telecom, the BCL relationship is a recognition that we can’t do it all on our own. No single company or no single provider has all the answers on broadband.

With a wireless trial on the ground here, Taranaki is leading the way on this new journey for Telecom and BCL.

With our technology and BCL’s wireless expertise Telecom believes we have the potential to get to 97% coverage of the country.

That’s as near as anyone will get to covering the whole country and demonstrates Telecom’s firm and real commitment to spreading fast Internet access.

As New Zealand’s leading on-line and telecommunications company, Telecom has decided we have to take the lead in delivering broadband – and we’re excited about the job.

In Taranaki we’ve got the style of leadership we think works best – working with communities and with other technology providers to deliver fast Internet access for as much of a region as possible.

It’s easy to talk the broadband talk. Everyone’s doing it. We’ve decided to roll up our sleeves and get on with the job.

We are delivering through a magic combination of a strong Telecom-community relationship making the most of our different technologies to deliver fast Internet to customers.

Enough about the partnering logistics. What’s it going to mean for you and your business, or at home or at school? It means you can get JetStream – and JetStream is really fast! No more dial up - JetStream will put an end to waiting around. Your emails come straight through, you can even surf the Net while you wait for a site to download - it won't slow things down.

It's so fast, you'll find yourself going places you just couldn't go before. You'll have easy access to a whole new world of entertainment - music, video - even high-speed games action with JetStream Games.

And JetStream won't tie up your phone line. You can talk on the phone or send a fax while another member of the family's on the Net.

How fast is fast? It’s about 50 times faster than your normal dial-up Internet connection.

For instance, it would take about 16 minutes to download an MP3 of Bic Runga’s latest single on a normal dial-up connection– turn on JetStream and it’ll take about 5 seconds.

It means a whole new way of using the Internet to create business opportunities, develop the region, get schools, teachers and students tapping into fantastic new learning and teaching resources on-line.

At school, learning will take on a revolutionary new dimension. Kids and teachers will be able to tap into virtual online libraries, and specialised subject areas to share course and assessment material. You’ll potentially be able to get access to your work from any computer, anywhere.

Then there’s videoconferencing and virtual whiteboards. The schools throughout New Zealand who are already on-line are really excited about the possibilities of e-learning. A teacher can video-conference in from Wellington to teach a physics class in Stratford, for example. We’ve seen it happening in Otago where we first tried this approach, and it is just amazing.

For doctors and other health professions tele-medicine, remote observation and virtual ward rounds can all become a reality.

The Taranaki partnership is not just about technology. We have entered into a long term relationship to help bring the technology alive for schools, teachers, students, businesses, farmers, entrepreneurs, community representatives.

We’ll be working with the local community on other initiatives like a Virtual Private Network for schools, other technology trials and the establishment of a business incubator.

Telecom is incredibly proud to have been selected to work with Taranaki to deliver broadband to your smaller communities.

Taranaki should be proud too. You are way ahead of every other region in the country.

You’re first off the mark among the regions to deliver on the Government’s goal to get broadband to more communities and schools.

Paul, as you know, Telecom has been talking to you for a long time now about how we can get broadband out to the regions.

We’re aware of your goal to get broadband to all New Zealand communities. We’re going to be looking closely at the regional tenders the Government is issuing soon. We’re confident we can echo our achievement in Taranaki in other regions.

We’re going to be keen players in the tender process. And we believe we’re well placed to be successful players. And that’s got to be good for New Zealand’s regional and rural areas.

Telecom wants to work with other communities in the same way we are in Taranaki.

With the people of Taranaki leading the way, we want to show New Zealand what keeping in touch is really all about in the 21st century.

Good luck for the journey we’ve just begun. It’s going to be great working together and learning together and having fun together.

ENDS

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