When it comes to access to true high speed, broadband internet, not all things are equal across the North Island. Many rural communities face slower speeds than their urban counterparts and some even lack service altogether.
“I am continuing my campaign to ensure that households and businesses across the North Island have access to true high speed, broadband internet” said Claire Trevena, MLA North Island, in a recent letter to people and businesses in her constituency.
“I am putting together a profile of the constituency for government and the large internet providers in the hope that having a constituency-wide business case will assist in persuading both Ministers and corporations for the need for 21st century level of connectivity,” she said.
Trevena is particularly interested in:
• The impact on individual businesses – both existing and potential. What are the daily struggles businesses face by not having the speedy connection? Have businesses used connectivity in their decision to either start up or not?
• The impact on education – both in the classroom, for homework and for distance learning. Do students have equality of access compared with those in urban centres; how much reliance is there on connectivity for out of school projects? Are problems with connectivity affecting educational outcomes? How many people are doing distance education, or have given up because of poor internet access?
• The impact on the quality of life. Are people choosing to leave or choosing not to settle in community because of problems with connectivity? Are people losing access to benefits and programmes because of inability to connect?
• The impact on tourism. Are there any quantative or anecdotal reports on whether connectivity plays into tourists choosing to come or not come to the North Island?
“Everyone needs to have access to high speed, broadband internet and people living in rural communities should not have to continually fight to get an utility service that most people around the world take for granted.”