Ultra-Fast Broadband in Central Otago

The Central Otago community has identified telecommunications including access to ultra-fast broadband as essential infrastructure – for existing and future businesses, for the education of our young people, and socially.  Central Otago District Council (CODC) has included access to ultra-fast broadband as a priority action point in its Economic and Business Development Strategy and is actively seeking the best possible access for the district to the Government’s Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) programmes.  

Central Otago district is being provided with ultra-fast broadband via the RBI programme under the first Government funding round. This programme is delivered by wireless in the rural areas and by an up-grade of cabinets on the copper-wire network in the towns.  Roll-out of the RBI programme in Central Otago is now well advanced.  

The Government invited local authorities around New Zealand to help identify priorities when it announced a second funding round to extend the UFB and RBI programmes.  CODC has asked that Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell (including Bannockburn and Pisa Moorings), Ranfurly and Roxburgh be included in the UFB2 fibre-based programme.  Coundil also sought an extension to the RBI2 programme for those parts of the Ida Valley not covered by the initial RBI programme, as well as improved coverage of the St Bathans/Cambrians area and Naseby.  As part of a joint bid with other Otago territorial authorities, CODC has also asked that key portions of the State Highway network in the district which do not currently have mobile phone coverage be included in the Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF) programme. This programme has been created as part of the UFB2 and RBI2 project.

Alexandra, Clyde and Cromwell have been included in the list of towns for which Government has asked service providers such as Chorus to provide bids for installing fibre. These bids are now being evaluated by Crown Fibre Holdings.  The Government has put the RBI2 and MBSF programmes on hold until decisions are made on the areas to be covered by UFB2.

At a local level there are a number of initiatives being worked on in the district to improve ultra-fast broadband.  These include a project in the Teviot Valley, Roxburgh and Millers Flat based on the local schools’ fibre connections, and in the Cromwell area using wireless technology.

Central Otago Telecommunications Statistics

Click HERE for information from the 2013 Census about access in the Central Otago District to phones, fax machines and the Internet.
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