Waitomo's Digital Journey
On this page you can find out about Waitomo District Council's Digital Enablement Plan and what we are doing to ensure our district is better connected.
Being better connected with improved broadband and cell phone services will increase the productivity of Waitomo District's business sector and provide our local and rural community with the ability to connect with the rest of the world.
Background on extension of UFB, RBI and Mobile Black Spot Fund
The Government wants to make sure that New Zealander’s can enjoy the benefits of faster, better internet and has extended the ultra-fast broadband programme, Rural Broadband Initiative and Mobile Black Spot Fund.
An additional $310 million of funding from the Future Investment Fund has been announced by the Government which will extend the ultra-fast broadband programme and Rural Broadband Initiative to even more communities.
Local authorities were invited to make a Registration of Interest and include information on ways to facilitate deployment of infrastructure in their districts.
You can read more about New Zealand's internet upgrade here.
In an effort to get our community better connected, Waitomo District Council have taken advantage of the extension to the Government funding programme.
Waitomo district comprises of predominantly rural communities. We believe it is vital that we facilitate economic growth and community connectivity and development.
Internet connectivity is critical to this, in today’s increasingly technological world.
With this in mind, Council decided to submit a Registration of Interest (ROI) for communities in our District for the following Government funds; Ultra-fast broadband 2 (UFB2), Rural broadband initiative (RBI2) and the Mobile Blackspot Fund (MBSF).
We carried out a survey in June 2015 to gauge feedback from Waitomo District households and businesses about their internet service. The survey identified that people are experiencing a lack of connectivity due to limited or no mobile coverage and poor access to broadband services.
Through this process, we identified areas that clearly have connectivity issues and needs which are impacting on agricultural, tourism and other industries and businesses. Large tracts of our rural district have either no access to broadband or internet speeds of less than 5 megabits of data per second, making them eligible for application to the Rural Broadband Initiative.
Significant parts of our rural community have therefore been identified in the ROI for the RBI2 fund. The three townships of Te Kuiti, Piopio and Waitomo Caves Village all met the Government’s criteria for the ultra-fast broadband initiatives and have been included in the ROI for the UFB2 fund.
The tourist areas identified in our ROI for the MBSF are the Pureora Forest Park, the Timber Trail Cycleway, Waitomo Caves Village (and surrounding area) and the scenic route out to the West Coast.
We have also recommended allocation of the MBSF to improve coverage on State Highways 30, 3 and 4.
Digital Enablement Plan
Along with the registration of interest, WDC submitted a Digital Enablement Plan to Government. This plan provides us with a direction on how to maximise the internet to increase business productivity, to bring economic advantages and engage our communities in technology.