Ultra-Fast Broadband access ahead of plan

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Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

28 February 2018        Media Statement

Ultra-Fast Broadband access ahead of plan

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran says the work to make fibre broadband available to 87 per cent of New Zealanders by the end of 2022 is moving apace and is ahead of plan.

”In total more than 1.25 million New Zealand households and businesses have access to UFB and 40 per cent of those who have access are actually connected. There was a ten percent uptake in connections between September and December.” Ms Curran says.

“The latest Quarterly Broadband Deployment update shows 506,075 users connected to UFB which is delivering close to 1,000 Megabits per second at present. By the end of 2022 87 per cent of Kiwis in 390 towns and cities will be able to connect to fibre broadband.

“New Zealand is again building tremendous infrastructure. The people involved in this work are this generation’s equivalent of those who built the bridges, dams and railways of the 20th century. They’re providing the infrastructure for how we will live, work and play in future, and they are doing a great job.

“This Government wants to close the digital divides by 2020, and to make ICT the second biggest exporting sector by 2025. We know it’s going to take more than what is already planned to ensure we reach those goals so all New Zealanders have connectivity. We’ll focus on the harder to reach areas and I’ll be looking not just at access but at how quickly connectivity can be delivered to rural and isolated areas.

“Connectivity to rural communities is just as important as it is in urban centres. The next goal for rural communities – the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2) – is to deliver new or improved broadband to 70,000 additional rural households and businesses. More than a thousand kilometres of state highways and in excess of a hundred tourism locations will receive new mobile coverage,” Ms Curran says.

Crown Infrastructure Partners manages UFB and is managing the contractual arrangements for the RBI2 and Mobile Black Spot Fund programmes, and has entered into contracts with the Rural Connectivity Group (Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees) and with a number of wireless internet service providers to deliver rural programmes.

The latest quarterly report can be found here: www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/technology-communications/fast-broadband/documents-image-library/december-17-quarterly-broadband-update.pdf