Chorus has confirmed that work has started to build an ultra-fast broadband network in Wanaka’s central business district.
While Wanaka is not included in the Government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative, Chorus and a group of local business and community leaders, supported by Queenstown Lakes District Council, have agreed to jointly-fund the rollout in the town’s central business district.
Chorus General Manager Infrastructure Ed Beattie says the new ultra-fast broadband network will put about 185 premises in reach of fibre services.
“We’ve taken the first step towards Wanaka’s fibre future thanks to a collaborative partnership between Chorus, the local council, local businesses and community leaders," he says.
“The build in Wanaka will be completed in a relatively short time, giving the town the chance to experience the potential economic and social benefits of a fully functioning network."
The build, which will be stopped during Christmas and New Year to avoid disruptions in the CBD during the busy holiday period, is expected to be finished early next year.
Businesses are expected to be able to order ultra-fast broadband services from retail service providers in late February.
Wanaka Chamber of Commerce chairman Alistair King says ultra-fast broadband would bring many benefits to the town.
“Our vision is for Wanaka to develop as a world-class innovation hub," he adds.
"We already have entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas living and working here. Now is the time to harness, share and promote this culture for the benefit of the town’s economy as our population continues to grow.
"The only way to achieve this and compete on a global level is through ultra-fast broadband."