Region on brink of new IT age
A new ultra-fast broadband network has the potential to transform the Nelson region, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says.
The minister made the comments at a ceremony yesterday with telecommunications company Chorus marking the start of the ultra-fast broadband rollout with a ceremony in the Trafalgar Pavilion.
The new network will put more than 6000 customers in Nelson and Richmond, and four schools, in reach of fibre services by July 2013.
The new fibre will offer customers drastically increased speeds and more reliable service than broadband, and compete with Network Tasman's existing fibre network.
Ms Adams said the technology was transformative and it was hard to predict its impact.
"We have no idea of the full extent of what broadband will do for us and how it will transform our lives."
Provincial New Zealand had the most to gain from the rollout, she said.
Children would have better access to education resources, patients would be able to access treatment and analysis from home, and business owners would be able to more easily connect with their customers.
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio said the rollout would help Nelson to become the most-connected city in the country.
The region had always been at the forefront of the internet age, in 2006 successfully gaining funding for high-speed internet as part of the Government's broadband challenge.
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said he looked forward to the project moving past the urban centres and into the rural areas.
Nelson MP Nick Smith said the rollout amounted to an $18 million investment in the Nelson region by the Government, and was an example of what was possible with the capital freed up by the sale of shares in state assets.
"The alternative would have been to borrow the $1.35 billion in the global debt market or not do the investment."
Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand chief executive Paul Brislen said internet users should be able to connect to the new service and experience the web at more than double their current broadband speeds.
The most obvious service improvements for users would be seen when streaming high-definition video, and the speed would allow cloud applications provided by Google and Apple to work seamlessly.
He hoped prices from ISPs offering the service would be competitive, and that the small data-caps that users currently had would be expanded.
A small data-cap with a fast connection would be like a Ferrari with a litre of petrol, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News