Rotorua Review: Fast internet to a home near you soon
Until recently announcements about investment in key infrastructure have often meant new roads or water and sewerage systems. In fact we've seen our fair share of these projects, with sewerage reticulation improving lake water quality and significant upgrades to both local and regional roads.
Good infrastructure is an important part of a modern economy. Today the way we connect with the rest of the world is just as important. That's why we've increased funding by $150m to $2b in Budget 2015 to upgrading New Zealand's internet connections. We want to make sure that everyone can benefit from better access to the information super highway.
Better connectivity helps to build a stronger economy. It improves educational outcomes and reduces compliance costs on businesses. It leads to more, better paying jobs for local people. Through the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), more people in Rotorua and surrounding areas will experience the benefits of faster and more efficient internet.
So what does this mean for Rotorua? Over the last four years our streets have been dug-up and fibre-optic cable has been laid all over our city. New cell towers have been installed in rural areas and existing infrastructure has been upgraded. School wiring has been upgraded to ensure that our youngest benefit the most from the many advantages of modern Internet based learning.
On recent visits to Ontonga and Lynmore Primaries and Rotorua Intermediate I was hugely impressed by the commitment of teachers to enabling student through digital learning. All schools in Rotorua are doing a great job in this area.
Currently more than 2,500 businesses and households around Rotorua have taken up UFB. And this number is growing quickly. Local people are recognising the opportunities that faster internet provides, from better and cheaper phone calls and TV on demand to greater competitiveness and productivity gains through better contact with customers.
Upgrades were recently completed locally at Okareka and other lake side communities, which will allow better access for people in these communities. As the Rural Broadband Initiative continues to be rolled out around the country, in the coming months more rural communities will be upgraded bringing the world closer to our farms.
It's important that we local communities have improved access to the internet. If you haven’t joined up yet contact you service provider to find out about the benefits of faster internet connection. Rotorua is now one step closer to the rest of the world.