Telecommunications

East Coast Digital Development Hui

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Hikurangi Takiwa Trust is hosting a hui 10.30am-12pm on Monday 31st August at Kariaka Pa for East Coast residents and businesses to discuss digital capability development opportunities for the whole Coast and our specific communities.

Gisborne District Council is preparing a Digital Enablement Plan (“DEP”) to submit to central government by mid-September. Community input on the DEP will start on Tuesday 25th August, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust is keen to ensure Coast communities knowledge and priorities help shape the DEP.

The Gisborne Regional Digital Strategy will build on the good work done as part of Gisborne’s Gigatown project which had significant community support. The Strategy will cover Leadership, Community, Business, Environment and will seek to address three key issues: Affordability, Accessibility and Digital Literacy.

Central government continues to send a clear message that broadband access is a priority for New Zealand. At end of March, government announced its commitment to building world leading internet speeds to more of our population. There is to be an increase in funding for three programmes:

  • Ultra Fast Broadband 2 (“UFB2”) extension: aims to roll out fibre to 80% of NZers in urban areas – funding increase of $210m;
  • Rural Broadband 2 (“RBI2”) extension: aims to provide upgraded broadband services in rural areas – funding increase of $100m;
  • Mobile ‘black spots’ (MBSF)’: aims to increase mobile services to tourist areas and priority areas on State Highways – funding of $50m.

Government is looking to invest in areas where deployment will be relatively cost-effective, where uptake can be demonstrated to be high and where broadband services are unavailable (defined as less than 5Mbps). Council, with the support of key stakeholders, has completed the first stage of a submission for improving our digital infrastructure – a Registration of Interest – Support. Stage two of the process is to complete a Digital Enablement Plan (“DEP”). The DEP will outline the benefits of the programme funding for Tairāwhiti and how we will activate uptake.

The DEP is due 12pm, 16 September. The Regional Digital Strategy will be our DEP.

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Regardless of the success or otherwise of the bid for government funding, the Digital Strategy will guide our digital future by setting some key priorities for action. It will refine the Gigatown Plan for Success.

It may be useful to think about the three capability development layers used in the Plan: Infrastructure, Services & People – what should these look like for the Coast?

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