The first conference in New Zealand focusing solely on regional and municipal broadband infrastructure and grassroots IT initiatives took place at November 23 in Wellington.
The conference gave an opportunity to community leaders and decision makers to learn about both the opportunities and challenges in establishing High Speed Open Access Networks in their communities.
Local and international success stories where cities and regions have bridged the digital divide were presented. Costs, benefits and partnership opportunities were explored and the application process for the Broadband Challenge and Community Partnership Fund were outlined.
Mr Lars Hedberg, founder of the Swedish Urban Network Association, a non-profit organisation of 300 companies, municipalities and members representing 200 broadband networks across Sweden, was included to keynote speakers. About two-third’s of Sweden’s 290 communities have open access to high speed broadband, making it one of the world’s most connected countries. Mr Hedberg spoke to the conference via broadband video-link from Sweden.