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UFB and RBI programmes exceed year two targets

Hon Amy Adams

Minister for Communications and Information Technology

8 August 2013

Media Statement

UFB and RBI programmes exceed year two targets

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has today released the year two report on the Government’s ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband programmes, which shows the target for both initiatives has been exceeded.

The report shows that fibre was rolled out to more than 129,000 end users in 28 towns and cities across New Zealand during the last three months of the financial year.

This brings the total number of end users that can now connect to the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network to more than 300,000.

In addition, more than 149,000 homes and businesses in rural areas now have access to faster broadband under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). 

Nine new towers were installed and twelve were upgraded by Vodafone over the past three months under the RBI.  Chorus upgraded 91 roadside cabinets with fibre during the same period.

The report also shows that more than 1700 schools are now able to connect to fibre.

Furthermore, 33 of the most remote rural schools in New Zealand now have access to broadband capable of peak speeds of at least 10 megabits per second, which is about four times faster than previous services.

Over the last quarter, the number of customers signing up to a service under the UFB programme has jumped by about 95 per cent, taking the total number to nearly 10,000.

This is in-line with projections and consistent with overseas experience and the introduction of other new technologies in New Zealand.

In addition, uptake among RBI users has reached 38 per cent.

“One of the rewarding things about our UFB programme has been the high levels of international praise for how our roll-out is progressing, particularly compared to some of the other international programmes,” Ms Adams says.

The Government’s year two report shows that about 20 per cent of the UFB build has been completed, with uptake at about 3 per cent.

By comparison, in Singapore uptake was about 2 per cent when 20 per cent of the network was built and in the UK, uptake was about 3 per cent when 24 per cent of the network was built.

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 the end of 2015.  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.

It will bring high-speed broadband to 252,000 customers, enabling 86 per cent of rural houses and businesses to access broadband peak speeds of at least 5Mbps, through fixed wireless and improved copper services.

Combined with the UFB programme, it will mean 97.8 per cent of New Zealanders will have access to faster broadband.

Year two broadband deployment update:  



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