"The Government is making funding available to extend the rollout of UFB to as many areas as possible," Mike Manson Palmerston North City Council's Business Development executive said. "Councils have been asked to register their interest and demonstrate support for the areas promoted. Only those areas with a strong picture of support will be awarded funding."
At present 69% of Palmerston North has access to UFB with almost all the City covered by 2019. There are limited funds available for the second part of the rollout and 78 councils bidding for allocations.
"We want to target areas not included in the first rollout of fibre to homes," Mr Manson said. "These areas include Summerhill/Aokautere, Linton, Ashhurst, Longburn and the North East Industrial Zone/Airport."
In addition PNCC is seeking to improve bandwidth (RBI) for rural areas, Whakarongo to Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe and Fitzherbert East.
"To be able to make a strong case we need input from those residents living in the listed areas. We will be going out into the community to ask questions about usage and understand how residents use their internet bandwidth," Mr Manson said.
Community meetings will be held:
- Ashhurst: Friday 19 June 3 to 7pm at Ashhurst Library
- Summerhill/Aokautere: Monday 22nd June 7pm at IPC Common Room
- Linton: Tuesday 23 June at 7pm at Te Whare Tapere, Linton Camp School Hall.
PNCC has also developed an online survey for those residents in the affected areas so that we can learn what speed residents are currently obtaining from their internet provider, and if residents would support the installation of fibre outside their homes.
Mr Manson says he is particularly interested in hearing from people who work from home, businesses, educational facilities and health providers about how increased internet bandwidth will help them with their business. "Residents can email us with questions or feedback at: email@example.com
The survey can be found at: pncc.govt.nz/ultrafast
The deadline for resident's feedback is Friday 26 June.