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Industry experts to discuss Christchurch's digital future

The Innovation Partnership is meeting in Christchurch tomorrow to discuss how Ultra-Fast Broadband will help the rebuilt city succeed in the future.

Innovation Partnership chair Murray Sherwin says the Partnership is excited to be back in Christchurch, having last been here for the launch of Google Loon.

“Christchurch is unique in the world, combining the rollout of Ultra-Fast Broadband with the rebuilding of the city following its devastating earthquakes.

“Cantabrians have taken an innovative and forward thinking approach to how they are going to rebuild Christchurch, and it seems they are equally ambitious when it comes to UFB.”

The Innovation Partnership is a group of organisations and individuals working to drive business growth, public sector excellence, and educational achievement through better, more innovative use of the Internet.

The Partnership’s meeting is bringing together a line-up of industry leaders, experts and thinkers to discuss how Ultra-Fast Broadband can help Cantabrians achieve their ambitions across business, education, health, and local governance.

Attendees include David Meates, CEO of the Canterbury District Health Board; Dr Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury University; and Sam Johnson, 2012 Young New Zealander of the Year, and founder of the Ministry of Awesome.

Enable CEO Steve Fuller is attending the meeting and says that having the Partnership meeting take place in Christchurch is an opportunity for the city to think about how it will take advantage of the opportunities that high-speed connectivity provides.

“The numbers of greater Christchurch schools, businesses and homes that can access UFB is rapidly increasing – meaning that access to high performing connectivity is fast disappearing as a local barrier to innovation.

“Similar connectivity is also being delivered across New Zealand and in many other countries, so access alone will not provide Christchurch with a technological advantage. What we do locally with this world-class connectivity to improve our community and generate new commercial opportunities is where the true opportunity lies.”

The meeting will identify opportunities and initiatives that the Partnership and its members can support, and look for learnings from Christchurch that can be shared with the rest of New Zealand.

The Innovation Partnership meeting also features a discussion on how the Primary Sector can take full advantage of the Rural Broadband Initiative, and has rural leaders from around the country coming to Christchurch to attend.

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