The latest Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) announcement by central government, pledging $270 million for communications infrastructure nationwide has been welcomed by Manawatū-Whanganui regional leaders.
Locations region-wide are set to benefit from the new UFB services including four tourism hot spots at Pongaroa, Owhango, Raurimu, and the entrance to the Timber Trail; 67 kilometres of State Highway along State Highways Four, 41 and 43; plus 18 new rural areas spread across the region.
Improving digital connectivity is a key enabler in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan which is being implemented through the Accelerate25 programme. The immediate priorities within this enabler are improving broadband in rural areas and improving mobile black spot and broadband coverage.
Accelerate25 Lead Team facilitator and Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney is extremely pleased to see the next phase in the UFB rollout being deployed.
“Regional leaders have been working with central government to improve digital services in our region and it is good to see further rural towns and State Highway mobile blackspots will benefit from the upgrades,” he says.
“We believe good progress is being made across the region, however we are keen to see more coverage in rural areas such as parts of the Tararua District.”
The Ruapehu district, in particular, will benefit from this latest rollout announcement.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron says, “Tourism and visitor industry connectivity is a key focus for digital services in the region as identified in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action plan,”
“Adequate connection in current mobile blackspots is essential for safety when experiencing the outdoors in remote areas and better internet connectivity will improve visitors’ experiences while in the region”.
The $270 million communications infrastructure package will speed up the UFB deployment schedule by two years, with completion expected at the end of 2022.
Regional leaders will continue to work with central government to push for improved rural connectivity.
For further information, please contact Chrissie Morrison, Media and Communications Manager, Horizons Regional Council, on firstname.lastname@example.org , 027 695 9747.
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