Alan Baker worked hard on Friday trying to programme a robot to rescue people from a burning building.
Marfell Primary School student Alan,11, was visiting OMG Technologies, one of 20 exhibits and eight workshops at the Beyond Broadband expo at the TSB Showplace.
The OMG stand was being run by volunteers who were keen to get children interested in science, maths, engineering and technology.
The expo was to celebrate the end of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) Build programme enabling 26,000 end users – households, businesses and schools – in New Plymouth to access ultra fast broadband.
Ultra Fast Fibre chief marketing officer Richard Riley said the expo was also demonstrating the awesome benefits of fibre.
“Over the next two days, through all of our exhibitors and workshops, we’re determined to demonstrate what fibre broadband is; what it can do, and, whether you are a large or a small business, an educator or a family, why you should connect and what’s in it for you.”
New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd said he thanked Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams for the investment in UFB, but he wanted to ensure she would continue the roll out to all of the “potential Bill Gates in the back blocks.”
“The big question is how to use the advantage of what this does to connect Taranaki to the world and the world to Taranaki.”
Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger has one of the most remote electorates stretching from Toko to the boundary of Ngāruawāhia.
“There’s one set of traffic lights, that’s how remote it is. Every community I go into I get asked how fast can we get the broadband in here.”
New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young said while the completed build was a feather in the cap for New Plymouth, he was eager to see the network expanded to smaller centres like Waitara.
“Faster, more reliable broadband has countless opportunities in the home, at school, at work, and behind the farm gate. As the local MP I will continue to go in to bat for an expanded network to reach as many users as possible.”
Adams said she encouraged people who could access UFB to take it up.
The government was negotiating with Crown Fibre Holdings to have UFB rolled out in smaller towns, but which towns would get it had yet to be decided, she said.
By 2025 99 per cent of New Zealand would be able to access broadband at peak speeds of at least 50 Mbps, she said.