Ultra-fast broadband rollout begins
The roll out of ultra fast broadband (UFB) around the country is now underway with the first fibre laid today at Manaia View School in Whangarei.
The Minister for Communications and Information, Steven Joyce, who attended an event at the school to mark the official start of work, says fibre will bring real gains to Whangarei and, as the roll out continues, to the whole country.
“This the first stage in a government plan which will see fibre enabling speeds of at least 100 Mbps rolled out to 75 per cent of New Zealanders where they live, work and study.
“The UFB policy is a key platform for the government and after a huge amount of work behind the scenes I’m pleased now to see some concrete results,” says Mr Joyce.
Today’s announcement follows confirmation of a deal last week between Crown Fibre Holdings – the government agency set up to manage the Crown’s $1.5 billion investment in UFB – and Northpower Limited.
The deal will see fibre rolled out to nearly 52,000 people in Whangarei by 2014, including more than 2,000 business premises, over 300 healthcare services, and more than 20 schools in the region.
A deal has also been signed with WEL Networks to rollout fibre in Hamilton, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Hawera and Tokoroa.
Mr Joyce says access to ultra-fast broadband is a crucial part of the essential infrastructure of a productive and growing economy and will be crucial to New Zealand improving its competitive advantage in the global market.
“The future of broadband is in fibre, and taking it right to the home will bring significant gains for productivity, innovation and global reach.
“This is an exciting day for Whangarei and for New Zealand.”