Telecommunications — but not Telecom — is putting Tuatapere on the map and everyone’s talking about it.
The small Southland town is being held up by IT Minister Paul Swain, TUANZ head Ernie Newman and Industry New Zealand as an example of how broadband telecommunications might be rolled out to remote parts of the country.
The unique feature of it is the collaboration between TVNZ transmission arm BCL, cellular network provider Vodafone and the community itself. Together they’re supplying local high school Waiau College with a 128Kbit/s data connection, in a town Telecom’s broadband services don’t reach.
Newman drew attention to the project during the Telecommunications User Association annual bash in Auckland last month and Swain mentioned it at the CIO conference in Auckland last week. It’s living proof of a role for BCL in the country’s broadband rollout, they say.
Newman calls BCL a “potential jewel in the national broadband crown”, and Swain is eager for it to get involved in other similar projects.