The first ultra fast broadband-enabling fibre has been deployed in Tauranga today, marking the start of a rollout which will transform the local economy, says Steven Joyce, the Minister for Communications and Information Technology.
Mr Joyce says ultra fast broadband will bring real gains to schools, business and medical facilities in Tauranga and around the country.
Under the government's Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) imitative, Ultra-fast Broadband Limited (UBL) is contracted to roll out fibre-optic cable to around 163,000 premises in Tauranga, Hamilton, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Hawera and Tokoroa.
Ultra fast broadband will be rolled out from Matua in the north to Hairini in the south, and from Bethlehem in the west to the Coast. It includes Mount Maunganui to Palm Springs. Deployment will cover a population of more than 118,000 including nearly 2,500 business premises, over 530 medical and other healthcare services and some 30 schools.
"Ultra-fast broadband provides opportunities for businesses to work in new ways, schools to connect students to resources around the globe and for specialist medical expertise to be available in more places through technologies like high-definition video conferencing.
"Fibre will mean that medical professionals will be able to email MRI scan in seconds, rather than relying on a courier, which will save precious time and money and, ultimately, lives.
"The same technology will mean that patients in the area self-monitor their health at home with appropriate medical oversight - including the ability for doctors to inspect visually with high-definition, two-way video conferencing.
"Because we're delivering fibre to the door, ultra-fast speeds will also be available at home, driving increased connectivity and access to new media and applications.
"The fibre-optic network will be open to retailers on equal terms, boosting market competition.
"Wholesale prices will be as low as half the price of current offerings for business services and residential customers will enjoy a vastly improved service for as much as they currently pay, or less," Mr Joyce says.
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