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Our bid for rural broadband
20 Jul 2015
We submitted an initial registration of interest for the Government’s next round of broadband and mobile black spot funding last Thursday. The submission includes requests for broadband to be extended in several areas in the district as well as coverage for key tourism sites across the region where there is no 3G mobile coverage from any provider. “Gisborne has already had investment in the government’s first roll out of Ultra-Fast fibre connection in the city and Rural Broadband to townships and communities,” says strategic policy manager David Wilson, “But we know there are gaps in connectivity.” Maps provided by broadband and mobile providers such as Chorus and Vodafone identified areas where there was coverage. “They have told us they are indicative only and accuracy is not 100%.” During the first rural roll out (RBI1) Chorus has laid fibre connecting many schools and many of the remaining areas and schools are serviced by wireless networks. “There appears to be reasonable coverage in many rural areas of Gisborne,” says Mr Wilson. “But there are a small number of communities in valleys and pockets who do not have broadband access so we’ve prioritised those for extensions. “We’re also asking for existing wireless networks to be strengthened to get better speed and capacity.” The government has allocated an additional $100m for Rural Broadband extension (RBI2) funding and $210m for Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB2) extension. “Makaraka was not included in the UFB1 allocation for Gisborne so we are asking for this to be included this time around. “There’s a strong business case for Makaraka in terms of population density and projected growth, current internet connectivity levels and mix of business and residential areas.” As part of the extensions the government wants to know areas where there is no mobile phone coverage from any provider and where there may be road safety and tourism issues from lack of coverage. “We have identified the blackspot areas with information from phone providers. “Based on the criteria we’ve prioritised site such as Motu Trails, Rere Falls and Rockslide, Matawai and Waioeka, along state highway 35 and out to the East Cape Lighthouse.” Central government’s extension of funding for the 3 programmes is aimed at achieving world leading internet speeds provided to more of our population. Applications from all over New Zealand will be assessed to identify projects and call for proposals from companies who can provide the broadband infrastructure. “There’s also another stage that we have to complete called a Digital Enablement Plan, due in September. “We’ll draw on the strategy that was created for the Gigatown competition outlining the key actions we can take to improve digital literacy and maximise the business, education, health, social and cultural benefits of broadband.” There will be opportunities for community to be engaged in discussions over the next three months about future broadband and mobile connectivity in our District. Watch our website and Facebook page for details and if you're keen to be involved please email to connect@gdc.govt.nz with your name. Read more >>
Motorists reminded: closed means closed
10 Jul 2015
Motorists who attempt to get through closed roads including state highways are reminded that “closed means closed” by Tairawhiti Roads journey manager Helen Harris.  Read more >>
Wainui Stream workshop
2 Jul 2015
A community meeting will be held to workshop ideas and create a plan to improve the condition of the Wainui Stream. The workshop is on Saturday 4 July at the Wainui School Hall from 2pm – 4pm.  We invite all residents, landowners adjoining the stream, environment groups and anyone who's keen to be involved in planning and getting hands-on with projects to restore the health of the stream. “We want to get the conversation started on what the problems are and what we can do to improve the health of the water,” says shared services science manager Lois Easton. Council staff will be presenting an update on the preventable sewage discharge and subsequent abatement notice in March and also discussing with participants other long standing issues of the water quality. The $50,000 penalty imposed on the engineering and works department of Council and their contractor will be used towards reparations of the stream and surrounding environment. “We’ll talk about what our options are for using the funds towards restoring the ecology and want people to come with ideas on what you would like to see implemented,” says Ms Easton, “We're keen for people to be actively involved in helping us put plans into practice, which may involve things like riparian planting projects, fencing or water testing. “Planning and improvements to the stream will be ongoing with the residents and community, and there’ll be more opportunities to get involved in the coming months.” If you would like to attend the meeting or be kept up to date with developments register your name and contact information with customer services on 06 867 2049, email service@gdc.govt.nz or message us on Facebook. Read more >>
Last updated: 11/03/2015 7:08am Copyright © 2007-2015 Gisborne District Council

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