20 March, 2012
UFB important part of Canterbury rebuild
The Government’s $1.35 billion ultra-fast broadband initiative presents a unique opportunity for Canterbury as it starts to rebuild, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says.
Speaking at an event in Christchurch tonight to highlight the role UFB will play in rebuilding Canterbury, Ms Adams told the audience that they have an opportunity to shape the region’s future.
“We have a unique opportunity to position Canterbury as New Zealand’s most technologically-advanced region, and the Government’s $1.35 billion UFB initiative is at the heart of this.
“The people of Canterbury are hungry for innovation and new approaches in a way that I’ve never seen before. I’m in no doubt that the rollout of UFB will be seized by Cantabrians in a way that would have been impossible to imagine just a few years ago.
“Canterbury has always been a leader in taking advantage of new technological opportunities, and local stakeholders have the opportunity to take the lead in building a plan to leverage the UFB infrastructure.
“In Canterbury, UFB will allow the creation of new businesses and also allow existing businesses to grow in ways they may have never thought possible.
“Businesses will be better able to expand and compete globally through greater access to research and development and investment, and greater ability to work with customers, suppliers, and partners in real time.”
It is broadly accepted both in New Zealand and internationally that UFB is critical for economic growth, Ms Adams says.
A study last year by McKinsey and Co found the internet accounts for 21 per cent of GDP growth in the last five years in mature countries.
Alcatel-Lucent has estimated that the Government’s ultra-fast and rural broadband initiatives will grow New Zealand’s GDP by $5.5 billion in the next twenty years.