Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said she was delighted that several towns in the Central Otago area were in line.
Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Alexandra, Cromwell and Clyde are among about 110 towns identified as potential areas for inclusion for UFB expansion.
“Central Otago people understand the importance of better connectivity, and the Government is focused on getting faster broadband to as many as possible,” Dean says.
“We want people living outside the bigger centres to enjoy the economic, health and education benefits that fibre can bring.”
During Budget 2015 the Government set aside a contingency of up to $210m from the Future Investment Fund for the extension of the Ultra-fast Broadband programme.
According to Communications Minister Amy Adams, the long list of potential towns is made up of the next largest towns not covered by the first phase of the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative. These towns have been determined based on current population and projected population sizes in 2023 and informed by council submissions.
“The bids will now be assessed, town-by-town, on a commercial basis, and a short-list of towns will be determined from that analysis. Then commercial negotiations can begin,” Dean explains.