Far North broadband promoters have evolved what IT Minister Paul Swain calls a unique business model for bringing broadband telecommunications to their part of the country.
A community effort, led by the Far North District Council and the Far North Development Trust, would bring together the telecomms demand of local businesses, as other areas are doing. But then they would commission telecommunications infrastructure and services themselves from providers and resell the services locally.
Other districts propose simply putting the aggregated demand to an existing provider, to justify the provider extending its own network into the district.
The proposal sprang from a report funded by the Ministry of Economic Development. That report presented an analysis of the telecommunications environment in the Far North and aimed to develop a telecommunications strategy. Part of this strategy is the broadband proposal.
By the middle of September the government is due to produce its own broadband strategy. This may involve a financial contribution from the public purse, or assistance in kind by way of a coordinating effort and/or loan of premises to facilitate implementation.