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UFB and RBI continues good progress

Hon Amy Adams

Minister for Communications and Information Technology

24 February, 2013              

Media Statement

UFB and RBI continues good progress
Deployment of the Government’s ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband programmes continue to make good progress, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says.
The latest quarterly report on the programmes shows fibre was rolled out to more than 33,000 end users across New Zealand during the last three months of 2012.
This means more than 134,000 homes and businesses in urban areas are now able to connect to the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network under the Government’s fibre-to-the-home programme.
Fibre deployment is already underway in 24 of the 33 towns and cities across New Zealand that will receive UFB.
In addition to the UFB numbers, under the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative, 89,000 rural homes and businesses have access to improved fixed wireless broadband through Vodafone, and 36,000 users through Chorus have enhanced fixed-line services.
During the last three months of 2012, Vodafone installed 13 new cell towers and upgraded 51 others, while Chorus upgraded 83 roadside cabinets during the same period. To date, there have been 30 new cell towers installed and 131 upgraded, as well as 347 upgraded cabinets.
More than 1200 state and state-integrated schools in urban and rural areas now have access to fibre.  Furthermore, 23 of the 57 schools that are part of the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative have access to broadband capable of peak speeds of at least 10 Mbps, which is about four times faster than previous services.
More than 3800 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 at this early stage of deployment.

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 75 per cent of New Zealanders to access fibre to the premise 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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