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Whakatane the twentieth UFB town complete

Hon Amy Adams

Minister for Communications

23 September 2016
Media Statement


Whakatane the twentieth UFB town complete

The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout in Whakatane has finished, bringing the number of fully-fibred towns and cities to twenty, Communications Minister Amy Adams has announced.

Nearly 7000 homes and businesses in Whakatane can now connect to UFB and around 19 per cent of those had taken up a service. All eight Whakatane schools have been connected and have joined the Network for Learning.

Total investment between the Government and Chorus in Whakatane is nearly $12 million. The build began in Whakatane in November 2012.

Representatives from telecommunications company Chorus and local leaders in Whakatane joined East Coast MP Anne Tolley to mark the milestone at White Island Tours, a local tourism operator connected to UFB.

Ms Adams said it was business like White Island Tours were the lifeblood of regional economies and UFB was helping them attract customers.

“It’s great to see tourism companies taking up UFB and using it to deliver a world-class visitor experience. Tourism contributes more than $100 million to the Bay of Plenty economy and employs around 10 per cent of the workforce. Better broadband is helping Whakatane and its tourism businesses thrive,” says Ms Adams.

“The challenge for Whakatane is to think about how it’s going to use UFB to transform the future.”

23,000 households and businesses in the wider Bay of Plenty region can also enjoy the benefits of better broadband through the Rural Broadband Initiative.

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“While celebrating Whakatane’s build completion, I’m conscious there’s still more to do to improve connectivity throughout the Bay of Plenty,” says Ms Adams.

The Government has set an aspirational target that would see 99 per cent of New Zealanders able to access peak broadband speeds of at least 50 Mbps by 2025.

“In addition to the $1.65 billion funding for the UFB and RBI initiatives, the Government has committed an additional $360 million to extend both programmes to more New Zealanders.”

Media contact: Julian Light 021 243 8528

Whakatane UFB at a glance:
· 7000 homes and businesses can connect

· 19% uptake or 1340 connections

· $12 million public-private investment

· Build started in November 2012

· Eight schools able to connect and all connected to the Network for Learning. These are Allandale School, Apanui School, James Street School, St Joseph's Catholic School (Whakatane), Trident High School, Whakatane High School, Whakatane Intermediate, and Whakatane S D A School.

ends

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