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Kiwis connecting to ultra-fast broadband

Hon Kris Faafoi

Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

29 November 2018

Nearly 1.4 million New Zealand households and businesses can now connect to some of the best broadband technology available, with more than 60,000 new connections in the last quarter, says Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi.

The latest progress report on the Government’s ultra-fast broadband programme shows 1,399,236 households and businesses have access to ultra-fast broadband (UFB), and 668,850 – or 47.8 per cent – have already connected.

“UFB typically delivers speeds of close to 1,000 Megabits per second, which means quicker uploading and downloading speeds, and a more reliable connection. This increased capacity and speed is especially useful at work, school or at home when there are multiple people online at the same time.

“When the Government’s UFB programme is fully complete, New Zealand is expected to be in the top five OECD countries for digital connectivity. But more importantly, it’s helping close the rural/urban divide so that people in smaller centres like Greymouth, Tokoroa and Pukekohe have access to the same top-class broadband technology available in the big cities, at the same prices.”

By the end of 2022, UFB will be available to 87 per cent of the population, and in more than 390 towns and cities across the country.

The latest quarter from June to September saw a surge of people connecting to UFB. More than 63,000 new connections were made during this period, compared to 55,513 in the previous quarter, boosting overall uptake by 3.7 per cent.

To date, Dunedin has shown the biggest demand for UFB, with 57.1 per cent of all businesses and households choosing to connect. Waiuku, Rotorua, Tauranga and Hamilton each have uptake rates of more than 55 per cent.

Infrastructure for the UFB programme began rolling out in 2011, and is more than 76.3 per cent complete.

As well as the ultra-fast broadband programme, phase two of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2) is underway to improve access to fast broadband in the regions. Work on the Mobile Black Spots Fund (MBSF) is also progressing, to improve the availability of mobile services to support safety on state highways and enhance visitor experiences at key tourist destinations which do not currently have coverage from any mobile operator.

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