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Tauranga to benefit from ultra-fast broadband

Tauranga to benefit from ultra-fast broadband

For immediate release: Tuesday 7 November 2010

Tauranga is set to be one of the first cities New Zealand to benefit from the Government’s rollout of ultra-fast broadband (UFB), following an announcement today by the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Steven Joyce.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin welcomed today’s announcement and said the rollout would mean a large part of the Bay of Plenty’s population would have access to ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2015.

“This announcement will change the way our residents, businesses and schools operate,” Mr Cronin said. “In the home it will open up opportunities for television over the internet and work at home choices. In businesses cloud computing and other innovations that will create competitive advantages; and health and education applications within our schools and hospitals will significantly improve their service offerings. It will change the way many of our residents carry out their day-to-day activities.”

The project to roll out UFB throughout New Zealand is being managed by Crown Fibre Holdings Limited, which has been established to manage the Government’s $1.5 billion investment in UFB infrastructure.

It brings to fruition four years of collaboration between the Bay of Plenty councils and economic development agencies in attracting competitive high-speed broadband into the region.

“It’s great to see the work and investment made by these agencies coming to fruition in this way,” Mr Cronin said. “Tauranga businesses certainly are already talking to companies globally, and having this infrastructure in place will show that their endeavours are being supported, helping them attract further overseas investment and open up opportunities to collaborate with and attract investment from the likes of Google and Microsoft.”

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The Tauranga rollout will be carried out by WEL Networks and is set to begin early next year. It will cover the area from Matua in the North, to Hairini in the south, Bethlehem in the west and through to the coast. The area includes Mount Maunganui to Palm Springs.

Crown Fibre Holdings has a mandate to provide at least 75 percent of New Zealanders with access to internet services at speeds of at least 100Mbps (downstream) and 50Mbps (upstream), while enabling providers to deliver high quality, reliable services.

Whakatāne and Rotorua are the other two areas in the Bay of Plenty that have been included in proposals put forward by bidders such as Chorus and Unison. It is hoped that they will be favourably considered in the second round of Crown Fibre Holdings negotiations.

ENDS

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