Wanaka welcomes broadband package
Wanaka's business community has welcomed a private funding package that will enable the town to have ultra-fast broadband installed - but no-one is saying how much is being spent.
Wanaka missed out on state-funded ultra-fast broadband but the business community established a working group to find a way to take part in the rollout.
Group spokesman and Chamber of Commerce chairman Alistair King said the group had secured a deal in which the Queenstown Lakes District Council and telecommunications infrastructure company Chorus would help fund a next-generation fibre rollout.
He was reluctant to discuss the financial side of the deal but said the council's contribution was "not a big dollar value".
"We're not talking millions or anything like that," he said.
The council had not yet signed off on the deal but he said he had assurances from Mayor Vanessa van Uden and Wanaka representative Lyal Cocks, given before this month's election, that they would do everything to ensure it was signed off in the Annual Plan.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley declined to comment yesterday.
Chorus general manager of marketing and sales, Victoria Crone, said the funding details were confidential.
"They're funding a bit and we're funding a bit more," she said.
Mr King said the rollout had the potential to change the face of Wanaka's economy.
Traditionally it had been focused on tourism and an investment in technology was seen as an opportunity to grow.
"Our vision is for Wanaka to develop as a world-class innovation hub. We already have entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas living and working here. Now is the time to harness, share and promote this culture for the benefit of the town's economy as our population continues to grow."
In the first stage of the agreed plan, more than 160 central businesses, boarded by Ardmore, Dungarvon and Brownston streets, would be connected to the Chorus network by mid-2014.
Stages 2 and 3 were likely to connect commercial areas around Anderson and Ballantyne roads, then outlying residential areas.
The working group was excited to compete in Chorus's year-long Gigatown competition, in which the winner would become the first community in the southern hemisphere to have a one-gigabit-a-second internet connection.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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