Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


PM launches first regional high-speed Internet

10 October 2003

Prime Minister launches NZ’s first regional high-speed Internet initiative

New Zealand’s first Project PROBE broadband site - providing portable high speed Internet access to provincial communities and schools - was launched in Tuatapere, Southland, today by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Helen Clark.

The initiative, which will provide high speed Internet access to 95 percent of Southland - traditionally one of New Zealand’s most remote communities - is a joint partnership between the Government and Venture Southland, the region’s economic agency supported by all of Southland’s local authorities.

For locals it will mean a state of the art Internet service, with files that have taken up to several hours to download previously now being done in minutes or seconds.

The project stimulates an overall investment of $50m, funded by Government, the local community and private enterprise.

Project PROBE* is a Government initiative using broadband technology to promote economic, social and education development in regional New Zealand.

The service in Southland is being installed by New Zealand-owned Woosh Wireless (previously Walker Wireless) and supported by Vodafone.

Woosh Wireless is to provide Project PROBE services in Northland and Wairarapa/Tararua regions from early 2004.

Said Venture Southland Strategic Projects Manager, Steve Canny: “Today is the first and an important step in our roll out of 22 wireless data sites throughout Southland during the next 18 months.

“Having global connectiveness is extremely important for our export-driven economy. Our Southland lifestyle also demands flexibility and the new broadband coverage allows innovation in the way we live and work.”

“Venture Southland – the region’s economic agency – has been working closely with Government agencies and Woosh Wireless to ensure the smooth roll out of the high bandwidth network in the region.”

“The mobile aspects of the Woosh service appeal to Southlanders who often need to travel long distances from home to work or school.”

The Southland “Whole of Community” Broadband Service springs from Venture Southland research in 2001 that showed that telecommunication service provision had been largely ignored in Southland.

Said Woosh Wireless Chief Executive, Bob Smith: “Access to Woosh’s broadband network provides the opportunity for Southland business to build on their competitiveness and also improve business efficiency.”

“Businesses in isolated areas will no longer be disadvantaged by outdated Internet connections.”

“Our mission is to bring broadband to all New Zealanders because that’s an imperative for economic growth. We are delighted that after years of neglect Southland is now leading the way.”


*Project PROBE, the Government's flagship broadband Internet initiative, has been developed jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economic Development.

The project’s key objective is to supply broadband communications, specifically to schools and provincial communities. Broadband technologies allow for the transfer of large amounts of data at high speeds, eg. words, computer files, pictures, video and sound.

The Government plans to bring high-speed Internet access to regions throughout New Zealand by the end of 2004.

Access to broadband coverage will have significant educational benefits as it is rolled out to schools and commercial and competitive advantages for business.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>