Smartlinx 3 Broadband Initiative
This page describes the Smartlinx3 broadband initiative.
Following a detailed investigation to identify a strategy to improve access and pricing of broadband in the 3 Cities of Hutt, Porirua and Upper Hutt, Smartlinx 3 Limited was established in 2004 as a joint public/private initiative. The objective of the three city councils and six private investors was to deploy and operate an open-access broadband telecommunications network within the three cities.
The OECD’s directorate for science, technology and industry, studying broadband concluded:
- Broadband infrastructure investment positively affects economic activity
- Broadband enabled content and services will be a key driver of economic growth
- Broadband helps businesses lower transaction costs and find efficiency gains.
Why Should Councils be Involved?
Successful models of community based networks around the world have the involvement and support of a community champion and it is clearly in this role that the councils participate in the Company.
- Council is broadly representative of a region enabling the new entity to tap into regional loyalty.
- Council maintains a long term commitment to broad economic and social development in the region.
- Council can create linkages with social development programmes.
- Council has a high level of credibility.
- Council can facilitate access to facilities required to build the network.
- Council can provide guidance through regulatory processes.
The Wellington Regional Strategy also identified broadband as one the main factors that will boost economic growth in the region, and the councils believe that their investment in Smartlinx3 will help open up opportunities in Porirua and the Hutt Valley. Open access broadband also helps the councils meet some of their social development objectives.
Building the Network
In May 2006 Hutt City, Upper Hutt City and Porirua City Councils decided to increase their investments in the Smartlinx3 broadband company to take advantage of extra funding available from central government’s Broadband Challenge Fund.
The Broadband Challenge Fund provides a unique opportunity to leverage investment by the Company in infrastructure deployment, offering the potential of receiving a matching grant dollar invested by the Company, and enabling acceleration of the network’s roll out.
The three Councils say the Broadband Challenge Fund presents an excellent opportunity to co-operate with the Government to provide this region with a broadband infrastructure that will ensure that the region's community is well placed for the future.
Smartlinx 3 Limited has now established an open access broadband network in the 3 Cities and is attracting a growing number of customers, including the 3 council shareholders.
View our media release on the background to Smartlinx3 issued by the Chief Executive of Porirua City Council on 26 January 2011.