From Penk’s Pen: Fast reliable broadband throughout Kaipara ki Mahurangi

Fast reliable broadband throughout Kaipara ki Mahurangi
It goes without saying how critical the internet is to us today. Our lives practically revolve around it, whether it be accessing emails or software, working from home, paying the bills or ordering those essential items.
Sadly, for some of our communities it’s considered a luxury to have fast, working access to the internet. This is obviously a cause for frustration on any regular day but it’s another thing entirely to have slow and barely-there internet access during periods of lockdown and self-isolation. Unfortunately, this is the lived experience for some of our local communities.
That is why I’m advocating for fast and reliable internet access for all areas of my electorate as a priority in 2022. And I’m pleased to say that progress is already being made.
Recently I met with a Chorus representative to advocate for individual constituents. One community that has particularly been hit hard with poor internet access is the area of Coatesville. Due to its location, Coatesville was initially considered to be outside of Auckland city coverage to justify ultra-speed broadband, but at the same time was not considered as sufficiently remote or rural enough to justify the Rural Broadband initiative, so the residents were losing both ways.
Thankfully, where there is a will, there is way. Chorus identified around 650 residents who were willing to contribute to the internet trust scheme. Along with some government funding in the mix, we now have nearly all of these residents connected to fast, reliable internet. This is a huge win for our Coatesville constituents as a result of a combined public/private solution.
But the work isn’t finished yet. My next mission is to seek out practical solutions for other communities that don’t appear to have a silver bullet any time soon, yet who are desperately in need of working internet.
I will continue to lobby the government for a better deal for our north and northwest Auckland. Because reliable, working internet access is something that’s worth fighting for.
Cheers, Chris

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