One-hit cable plans need support

The installation of fibre-optic cables could provide Picton with ultrafast broadband, free wi-fi in the town centre and closed-circuit television cameras by summer, Marlborough District Council says.

The council plans to install CCTV security cameras along the Picton foreshore, High St and at the skate park on Wairau Rd by installing fibre optic cables by summer.

The council's second-stage priority is to provide wi-fi internet access in the town using the same cables business owners pay to tap into for ultrafast broadband.

A meeting in Picton last week asked firms whether they were willing to pay an internet service provider for ultrafast broadband, if the cables were extended from the town centre to their businesses.

Council support services manager Dean Heiford said the council had requested proposals from infrastructure companies to install security cameras in Picton and planned to select a company to do the work by the start of July.

"CCTV is the major priority, anything on top of that is a bonus."

Fibre-optic cables that would be installed for the security cameras could also be used to supply firms with ultrafast broadband and free wi-fi in the centre of Picton.

It would make sense to provide all the services in one hit, rather than having to dig up the streets again later to lay more cables, he said.

"We're still analysing proposals. When and how much it's going to cost has to be approved by council. We want to get it done in one go."

The council also plans to upgrade its CCTV system in Blenheim and hopes any funds left over could go towards funding the work in Picton.

The town missed out on the Government's national rollout of ultrafast broadband because it was classified as a rural centre.

Network Tasman operations and telecommunications manager Andrew Stanton said the company had made a proposal to the council to carry out the work.

"It's a big investment for us but we've analysed the risks and have done this kind of work many times.

"The fibre-optic network we operate in Blenheim has been a success and is offering Blenheim businesses the many advantages of ultrafast broadband, we want to bring these benefits to Picton businesses."

The meeting in Picton last week was called for inform business owners of the opportunities available from ultrafast broadband and to gauge their interest.

The network company planned to extend its existing fibre network in Picton to service more industrial and commercial customers.

"We would like to see a commitment from local businesses before we carry out any work and hope to be able to work with the council on their CCTV project."

The company expects to be able to deliver the services by summer and is open to any internet service provider using its cable network.

"We will work with council and local businesses to ensure the disruption of laying cables will be minimal."

The Marlborough Express