Council's $120,000 UFB offer

The provision of ultrafast broadband to the Wanaka CBD is not yet a done deal, and the Queenstown Lakes District Council is still to approve its financial contribution.

The Wanaka Chamber of Commerce announced at Labour Weekend an agreement with telecommunications infrastructure company Chorus to provide UFB nodes to 162 business premises by the middle of next year.

Chamber chairman Alistair King told the Otago Daily Times at the time the initiative, by a group of Wanaka business people, had the backing of the council, but he declined to discuss the financial arrangements.

Yesterday, Mr King said the backing from the council was in the form of a letter from Queenstown Mayor Vanessa Van Uden and deputy mayor Lyal Cocks supporting the initiative and a potential council contribution of up to $120,000.

The letter went on to say council funding was subject to the annual plan process, something that will not be finalised until June.

''We're not foreseeing that they are going to say, `no','' Mr King said.

''As far as we are concerned, it is a done deal.''

Ms Van Uden said the proposal had to go through the annual plan process, so the community had a chance to have its say, but she believed the UFB plan was a ''wonderful opportunity'' for Wanaka.

Mr King said if the council decided not to contribute, the $120,000 could be covered by a small contribution from each of the 162 business premises that would benefit from a UFB connection.

- mark.price@odt.co.nz

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