Hutt seeks bandwidth

The Hutt City Council is attempting to "aggregate demand" for broadband communications from companies in its district, near Wellington, as part of a plan to move Hutt into the "knowledge economy".

The Hutt City Council is attempting to “aggregate demand” for broadband communications from companies in its district, near Wellington, as part of a plan to move Hutt into the “knowledge economy”.

The move is partly in response to what the council says are companies migrating due to a lack of broadband services.

The council’s economic initiatives manager, Clare Hadley, claims at least two companies have moved out of the district because they could not get sufficient bandwidth for their needs. She declines to name the companies without their permission or to reveal the communications supplier that, she says, offered to put a broad enough connection into the district but at what the council judged too high a price.

A “strategy document” outlining the move was discussed at a council meeting last week.

Hutt mayor John Terris said the council was only being asked to endorse the strategy in principle. The council gave that endorsement, and consideration of the proposal now passes to the next meeting of its strategy and policy committee, on August 8.

The Hutt’s former strength in manufacturing has declined, Hadley says, “but we retain associated knowledge in product design and development and prototyping.”

The district also houses several crown research institutes and Weltech, formerly the Hutt Valley Polytechnic. A similar demand-aggregating initiative is in progress in the Wairarapa.

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