The Wanaka business community is celebrating a deal done
with telecommunications infrastructure company Chorus to bring
ultrafast broadband (UFB) to the town's central business
district by the middle of next year.
While Wanaka was deemed to have too small a population to be
included in the government-funded UFB initiative, a group
associated with the Wanaka Chamber of Commerce, and backed by
the Queenstown Lakes District Council, has done a private
deal with Chorus that will deliver the same service as those
that were included in the government scheme.
Chamber chairman Alistair King told the Otago Daily Times at
the weekend Chorus had agreed to extend the existing UFB
serving Wanaka's Willowridge and Infinity residential
subdivisions into the centre of town.
That will mean the installation of ''nodes'' outside more
than 160 business premises.
Mr King said Wanaka businesses were getting the same deal as
businesses in other towns included in the Government's UFB
''So you get the wee node outside your building ... everybody
gets that without having to contribute anything.''
It would then be up to businesses to meet the cost of
connecting to the nodes.
The area covered was within a triangle bounded by Ardmore,
Dungarvon and Brownston Sts.
Mr King said it was planned eventually to expand UFB into
other commercial and residential areas. As part of the
expansion, there were plans to include a 5G Wi-Fi network in
the town centre ''accessible by anyone with a suitable
Mr King said the expansion of UFB could ''fundamentally
change the face of Wanaka's economy''.
He believed it would attract more overseas people able to
take advantage of UFB.
''Our vision is for Wanaka to develop as a world-class
''We already have entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas living
and working here. Now is the time to harness, share and
promote this culture.
''You don't have to be in Auckland or Christchurch or
Dunedin. You can be here and work here and then knock off at
12 and go for a ski.''
The members of the advisory group representing Wanaka in
negotiations with Chorus were founder of Eftpos NZ Peter
Marshall; Duncan Good, of Tallon Systems; Kelly Good of
DiverseNZ; Steve Turner, of Broken Shed Vodka; Tony Williams,
of the Williams Hotel Group; Hetty Van Hale, of Infinity
Investment Group; and newly-elected member of the Wanaka
Community Board Ross McRobie.
Chorus marketing general manager Victoria Crone said the
expansion of UFB in Wanaka was a ''logical next step'' in the
company's network development.
''The sense is that Wanaka is ready to capitalise on ultra
fast broadband as much as anywhere else in New Zealand.''