The Northland region is targetting fibre broadband through a new agreement with state-owned enterprise Kordia.
The Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Kordia have signed a memorandum of understanding to scope, build and operate a fibre optic-based telecommunications infrastructure in Northland.
Kordia chairman Wayne Brown, who is also the Far North's mayor, and Regional Council chairman Mark Farnsworth say the plans are at an early stage.
A Kordia spokesperson told Computerworld that Brown was not involved in or aware of the business case development going on within Kordia until it was reported to the board.
"He's only just been made aware of it," the spokeswoman Emma Morrison says. "the development was done at the business level."
In a statement, Brown says regional initiatives are being developed to promote regional economic transformation.
"Broadband investment is seen as a priority by our owners, so this is a perfect fit for us,” Brown says.
Farnsworth says the collaboration with Kordia will look at building a regional network that starts where the current telecommunications networks stop.
“Whilst the NRC will lead the project, we will work in conjunction with other Councils, lines companies, iwi and other local stakeholders to deliver a wholesale, open-access operating model that has competition at the service layer,” he says.
“Both parties are keen to see broadband accessible to as many Northland businesses and consumers as possible, and to do that, we’ll be looking for some large foundation customers to help get the ball rolling.”
Provided the business case stacks up the two parties hope to see a an offering to a range of service providers within the next two to three years.