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Amy Adams

31 January, 2013

Improving telecommunications for the Chatham Islands

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has announced the next stage of the Government’s plan to deliver significant improvements in telecommunications for the Chatham Islands.

As part of the Rural Broadband Initiative, the Government approved a grant to the Chatham Islands Council to help secure better broadband connections for its three schools, Kaingaroa, Pitt Island and Te One.

Today, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has issued a Request for Proposals as part of the next stage of the process.

“The primary focus will be on connecting the three schools on the Chatham Islands to fast broadband. At the same time, we are looking to secure similar benefits for the wider community,” Ms Adams says.

Fast, reliable broadband will allow schools, businesses and homes to access the internet and video conferencing, as well as specialist health and education services.

The Chatham Islands are currently served by a combination of infrastructure based on the Telecom/Chorus exchange in the main township of Waitangi, and satellite broadband links to homes and businesses.

There is no cell network on the islands, but the Council runs a high frequency radio system for official use.

Tenders close on 14 March, 2013 . Further information can be found at www.gets.govt.nz.