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Low Cost, Reliable, High Speed Broadband Critical to Future

Low Cost, Reliable, High Speed Broadband Critical to Ruapehu’s Future

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) sees access to cheap, reliable, high speed broadband as being critical to the future well-being and sustainability of Ruapehu communities.

RDC Mayor Don Cameron said that the lack of high speed broadband access to many parts of Ruapehu has been identified as one of the significant constraints limiting the district’s economic potential.

“Low cost, reliable, high speed broadband is critical to enabling Ruapehu to fully participate and flourish in the modern world and take advantage of all the opportunities it offers,” he said.

“The importance of the internet and broadband technology to Ruapehu’s future potential cannot be over stated.”

“Its critical importance has been recognised around the world with the United Nations having gone as far as saying that it is a basic human right while in Finland access to 1-megabit broadband is now a legal right.”

Mayor Cameron said that Council has been having preliminary discussions with key community stakeholders such as Ngati Rangi who have identified that affordable high speed broadband access is a key requirement for supporting the successful delivery of their Whanau Transformation Plan.

“High speed broadband is not just about faster web surfing but is a key component in enabling a wide range of improved outcomes across business, education, health, tourism and other sectors.”

“Ruapehu needs to take ownership of the need to have a low cost, reliable, high speed broadband solution available wherever it is wanted across the district,” he said.

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Mayor Cameron noted that there are a number of companies actively promoting wireless broadband solutions to Ruapehu rural communities.”

“It is exciting to see that some Ruapehu communities and iwi are already actively looking at potential solutions and technology partners.”

“Council saw a presentation this week based around Huawei ‘line of sight’ WIFI repeaters that would connect with the government funded Rural Broadband Initiative that is delivering high speed broadband via a fibre network to rural schools, medical facilities and some libraries.”

“The solution we saw could be implemented in Ohakune for under $300,000,” he said.

“If a small community like Ohakune can raise $1 million for an ambulance station I’m sure we can work together to raise $300,000 for game changing, township wide, high speed broadband network.”

“With Ohakune now an all-season, all-year destination and enjoying a sizable chunk of the one million plus visitors now coming to Ruapehu every year this could very quickly pay for itself.”

“The modular, relatively easy to install design means it provides the opportunity to start cost effectively in one location such as Ohakune and then have spread it quickly.”

Mayor Cameron added that Council would be talking with other key community stakeholders, businesses, iwi and sector groups about how to get things moving.

ENDS


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