Big turn-out for UFB

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Interest was strong at last night’s public meeting on an initiative that could bring ultra-fast broadband (UFB) to Tamahere and Matangi.

About 120 Tamahere and Matangi residents turned out for the meeting – a sizeable showing by the standards of public meeting attendance – and which would have given organisers a strong message.

The Waikato District Council, which called the meeting, has offered to build a case to put to central government for a subsidised roll out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) in the area.

Before it can do that it needs to know the level of local support for a super highway and whether residents would be willing to contribute to the cost of laying fibre-optic cables.

“Council inquiries indicate it is highly unlikely fibre-optic cabling for UFB will be laid in the area without a significant commercial investment, as well as a financial contribution from customers community-wide,” said council General Manager Strategy and Support Tony Whittaker who addressed last night’s meeting.

Have your say

The council is also surveying a sample of 1400 Tamahere and Matangi property owners on the matter. If others want to take part in the survey the council will send a copy to any resident who wishes to complete it. Phone the council on 0800 492 592 or 07 824 8633 or email consult@waidc.govt.nz The deadline for the survey response is Friday, May 20.

Whittaker said an indication of support from survey respondents would not be regarded as a financial commitment to a fibre-optic cabling initiative.

Currently Tamahere and Matangi receive broadband services through a mix of cellular, Wi-Fi, and copper telephone lines, which are at full capacity.

“There are no guarantees about the outcome of this initiative as there are many people yet to talk to including providers and the government, but it’s clear this is a one-off opportunity for the area,” Whittaker said.

Future proof

UFB delivered by fibre-optic cabling would significantly increase download and upload speeds, remove the current cap on capacity and dramatically improve the reliability of internet services, the council said.

Fibre optic cables can carry large ‘packets’ of data at high speeds over long distances. This means fibre-based UFB provides substantially greater future proofing than any other type of internet service.

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