Invercargill will be connected to the world like never before with the introduction of ultra-fast broadband, Invercargill MP Eric Roy said today.

Mr. Roy said around 16 Invercargill schools, 100 healthcare providers and 1050 Invercargill businesses will be connected between Aug 2011 – Apr 2017, and provided speeds of up 10 gigabits per second.

“Ultra-fast broadband will connect Invercargill businesses, schools and health providers with the rest of New Zealand and the world as part of the government’s $1.5 billion Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative.”

Government agency Crown Fibre Holdings has negotiated with Telecom to rollout ultra-fast broadband between August 2011 and April 2017 in Invercargill, providing residents with internet speeds up to 10 times faster than current broadband speeds.

“Ultra-fast broadband will pave the way for new business opportunities for Invercargill residents. There’ll also be a greater ability for Invercargill to join in new and emerging industries, like software development,” Mr. Roy said.

“Schools are a priority for the ultra-fast broadband initiative, and Invercargill children will benefit from the first-class education that ultra-fast broadband offers. Schools will be able to share scarce resources like physics and IT teachers, and have access to the technologies they need in this digital age.

“Health will be a defining issue over the next decades as our population ages. Thankfully ultra-fast broadband will introduce a new era of healthcare. For local residents there’ll also be a greater ability to engage with specialists remotely, without patients having to travel to the main centres.”.

Mr. Roy said the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative complemented the previously announced Rural Broadband Initiative.

“These two government projects will give us a competitive, future-focussed network to put New Zealanders on the world stage.”