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Key Issue Two: Ultra-Fast Broadband

Key Issue Two: Ultra-Fast Broadband

A large part of Feilding’s industrial area has not been included in the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout.

Ultra-Fast Broadband or UFB is synonymous with economic growth which is one of Council’s key goals for the next ten years. Our industries need access to UFB, to operate in the modern world, and if we’re to attract new industry then we need UFB infrastructure otherwise we risk being overlooked as a location. If our District is to grow, we need UFB in our industrial areas.

Last year, the Manawatu District Council unsuccessfully lobbied the Government, to include Growth Precinct Five in the UFB rollout. Growth Precinct Five is 117 hectares in size and includes Manfeild Park Racetrack and Events Centre, and businesses including Ovation; Proliant (under construction); Cross Slot; Biophive, Farmlands, Power Farming, and Claas Harvest Centre.

Growth Precinct 5

Knowing the importance of this infrastructure to our District’s future and considering we want to be a connected community, Council was undeterred and has considered a number of other options to facilitate this new level of service.

The total cost of the rollout is $726,000. We’re proposing to carry out this work over three years starting in 2015/16. Council would use a loan to fund the costs of this project over 30 years which would impact on Council’s total amount of debt. To service this loan, Council has two main options:

Our preferred option is to establish a targeted rate so that businesses that benefit will pay for the UFB rollout.

A targeted rate ensures only those businesses that use and benefit from the UFB will pay for it and, therefore, there is no impact on general rates. The targeted rate will commence in 2016/17 and will recoup $30,000 per annum increasing to $45,000 in the third year and then $58,000 per annum until the loan is repaid. The impact on rates would commence in year two at an average rate of $790 per property per annum.

The other option is that rate-payers across the District pay for the UFB rollout.

We considered the option of funding the cost through a District-wide rate, where the whole community would pay. However, this is not our preferred option as we believe those that use and benefit from the service should pay for the service. The impact on rates would commence in year two and would be 0.2% total rates increase, an average increase of $2.25 per property per annum increasing to $4.40 per annum until the loan is repaid.

Our preferred option is to establish a targeted rate so that businesses that benefit will pay for the UFB rollout.

The other option is that rate-payers across the District pay for the UFB rollout.