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Ultra-Fast Broadband milestone reached

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

7 November 2012
Media Statement
Ultra-Fast Broadband milestone reached

More than 100,000 end users in urban areas are now able to connect to the Ultra-Fast Broadband network, only 16 months after the project started.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams today released the latest quarterly report on the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband (RBI) programmes.

The report shows good progress continues to be made on a project that will ultimately transform New Zealand’s connectivity.

More than 1000 schools have access to fibre under both the UFB and RBI programmes. Furthermore, 14 of New Zealand’s most remote schools have been connected to faster broadband.

In addition to the UFB numbers, under the government’s RBI programme a further 55,000 rural homes and businesses have access to improved fixed wireless broadband through Vodafone, and 23,000 users through Chorus have enhanced fixed-line services.

Ms Adams says more than 2400 customers have already made the decision to subscribe to a fibre-based service under the UFB programme, which is in line with government expectations and overseas experiences.

“This indicates gradual early stage uptake, which is to be expected at this phase of the build, with only a few retail products so far on offer. We expect uptake to increase markedly as the build reaches greater completion,” Ms Adams says.

“The deployment of this digital technology is one of the largest and transformative infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. UFB covers 33 towns and cities, and involves thousands of kilometres of fibre being laid over an eight-year period.

“Taking fibre direct to businesses, schools, hospitals and households will bring significant gains for productivity, innovation and global reach.”

With the combined efforts of the UFB and RBI programmes, 97.8 per cent of New Zealanders will have access to faster broadband.

By July next year about 235,000 premises are to be covered by the UFB network, and more than 100,000 rural homes and businesses will have access to faster broadband.
Note to journalists: Attached is a quarterly broadband deployment update (1 July – 30 September, 2012)
Ultra-Fast Broadband background: UFB is a government programme to expand and develop New Zealand’s broadband services.
UFB will bring fibre optic technology to businesses, schools, hospitals, marae and homes, enabling access to 75 per cent of New Zealanders by the end of 2019.
Schools, hospitals and 90 per cent of businesses in the coverage area will be connected by 2016. Homes and the remaining 10 per cent of businesses will be connected by 2019.
Fibre will be capable of peak speeds of at least 100 Mbps. The government is contributing $1.35 billion to the initiative, with further investment by the UFB partners.
Rural Broadband Initiative background: The RBI has been implemented by the government to address the specific broadband infrastructure needs of rural New Zealand. The government is contributing $300 million, with further investment from the RBI partners.
Combined with the UFB programme, it will mean 97.8 per cent of New Zealanders will have access to faster broadband.


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