Whanganui is the latest North Island town to become fully-fibred with the completion of its Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) build, leading to calls from Communications Minister Amy Adams to increase uptake across the area.
As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, the $23 million investment by the Government, in partnership with WEL Networks, means more than 17,000 homes, businesses, schools and health facilities in Whanganui are now able to access fibre.
The build is the largest area to be completed by local fibre company Ultra-Fast Fibre with uptake currently more than seven per cent or nearly 1300 end users.
Adams acknowledged the efforts of Whanganui Council which had developed a group of local stakeholders to support the deployment of the UFB network, creating a Digital Leadership Forum and holding tech expos.
For the last three years running, it has been named one of the world’s “Smart 21” cities by the Intelligent Communities Forum, a global organisation which recognises potential for communities to prosper in the broadband economy.
“It’s good to see the Whanganui Council thinking creatively about ways to increase uptake in the region and helping their community to make the most of the opportunities fibre can provide,” Adams says.
Adams says councils across the country are being encouraged to work with their communities to ensure better broadband for their areas.
Councils have until 3 July to register their interest in the Government’s recent decision to extend the UFB and Rural Broadband programmes and establish a Mobile Black Spot Fund.