Broadband take-up highest in the country

KELSEY WILKIE
Last updated 12:00 01/09/2014

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Palmerston North residents appear to be more tech-savvy than other people from other parts of the country as they have the highest up-take in ultrafast broadband in the country.

About 2790 premises have connected to UFB in Palmerston North, Chorus communications manager Steve Pettigrew says.

About 10 per cent of those who could connect to Chorus's leg of the UFB scheme in Palmerston North had connected as of June 10.

InspireNet managing director James Watts said he wasn't surprised Palmerston North had been quick to hook up to UFB.

He said his company had been pushing for customers to connect with UFB because it was seen as the way of the future.

The scheme is part of the Government part-funded rollout of fibre internet lines to 75 per cent of the country and involves four private partners: Chorus, Northpower, UltraFast Fibre and Enable Networks.

Schools in Manawatu are also jumping on board with ultrafast broadband - about 50 schools throughout Manawatu have connected to a government-subsidised internet network.

The $211 million managed Network for Learning (N4L) is part of a plan to get fast, reliable, uncapped internet into schools.

St Peter's College in Palmerston North was one of the first schools in the country to connect to N4L.

They connected in November 2013 as part of a trial.

St Peter's College principal John Bowen said it had been a positive step for the school, in terms of students' learning and financially.

"The upload of student-created content is almost instant. Rather than a student essentially wasting learning time waiting for an upload, it essentially leads to more learning time."

He said the school's electronic learning vision was about integrating technology into learning.

"It's not that other work doesn't work. You integrate technology and when it's done in a good way you can really enhance learning."

N4L chief executive John Hanna said about 148 schools in Manawatu had registered interest.

Across the country there were more than 700 schools connected, with the rollout keeping to schedule, N4L chief executive John Hanna said.

"We are tracking ahead of schedule and this means thousands more students and teachers will be able to connect to the managed network this year."

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- Manawatu Standard

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