Council confident of solid UFB proposal

15 July 2015

Waikato District Council is confident a solid submission presented to MBIE which will ensure its communities are on the list for expanded broadband.

Government recently announced additional funding to help expand broadband across the country and Waikato District Council made sure it was one of many contenders for the boost.

Strategy and Support General Manager, Tony Whittaker, says registrations of interest closed at noon on Friday 3 July and Council has presented a solid proposal on behalf of their communities.

"The registration of interest had to address certain criteria set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and includes a comprehensive list of information around economic development, socio economic trends, employment, and population trends (current and projected).

“Ours ROI also includes supporting documents from community groups and committees and the 536 responses from a district-wide survey with information about age, your community, the reliability of your current broadband service at home, and how you use your internet/broadband.

“Just as a side note, 54% of respondents were aged between 35-54 and 78% said their broadband service could be better.”

Mr Whittaker says the proposal also had to prioritise communities and while that was difficult to do they had to follow the same process as every other Council.

“Page 39 and 40 of the report include details of the final prioritisation of communities. This prioritisation is based on strict criteria set by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. Various community groups provided additional information or endorsements to support the ROI however these were still considered in conjunction with other relevant criteria.”

Mr Whittaker explains the next step is to submit a Digital Enablement Plan which provides detail on Council’s commitments to reducing costs, regulatory barriers, demand side risks and other factors associated with deployment of UFB, RFI AND MBS infrastructure.

“This plan will rely on the information captured to support the ROI plus further community engagement around focused issues and opportunities.”

A copy of the full report is available online.

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For more information contact:

Erin Rangi-Watt
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5900
027 551 1601
erin.rangi-watt@waidc.govt.nz