Southland’s participation in the 2018 NetHui Roadtrip has been boosted by confirmation of a rural connectivity panel.

Nethui Southland is being held in Invercargill on 16 October 2018 and will provide Southlanders with the opportunity to discuss connectivity with sector representatives.

A rural connectivity panel will host representatives from VelocityNet, Rural Connectivity Group and Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand.

The panel will engage with attendees about national infrastructure, service issues specific to the Southland region, highlight current progress and discuss planned broadband extensions.

Steve Canny, Group Manager for Business and Strategic Projects at Venture Southland – the regional partner for NetHui Southland, said rural connectivity was an important topic to be included in the programme.

“Internet connectivity is essential to the success of our rural communities as many people expect to be able to stream significant events and have access to information. NetHui Southland is going to provide a forum for members of our community to discuss these issues with sector representatives,” Canny said.

Rural connectivity is a key theme of NetHui Southland and will inform several of the breakout sessions including digital infrastructure, social isolation and digital divides.

Canny said the significant role the Internet plays in all of our lives has resulted in a programme that is relevant to everyone.

The programme will look at Internet access, the impact of the Internet in the education, business and farming sectors, and the importance of the Internet for newcomers and visitors to the region.

InternetNZ Outreach and Engagement Director Andrew Cushen said participation and inclusion are founding principles of NetHui which InternetNZ has helped to deliver to New Zealander’s since 2011.

“From rural connectivity, to free Internet access, to education, to what big data means for the rural community – NetHui Southland will encourage discussion on the topics that matter most to the Southland community,” Cushen said.

Cushen encouraged people to get their tickets for NetHui Southland so that they could contribute to the conversation about the Internet in Southland.

“The programme has been built from community feedback so whether you are a small business owner, an educator, a student or simply someone who enjoys the Internet, NetHui Southland is a space for you,” Cushen said.

Tickets for NetHui start at $30.00 and there are scholarships available for women and non-binary people interested in the tech sector. Participants can register for NetHui Southland and find more information on the programme at https://2018.nethui.nz/