The number of New Zealand households and businesses connected to Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) has increased by 11 per cent to 460,096 connections in the last quarter, according to the latest Quarterly Broadband Update by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The Quarterly Broadband Update provides data on deployment progress and uptake under government broadband programmes: the UFB programme, the Rural Broadband Initiative and the Mobile Black Spot Fund.
MBIE ICT Policy and Programmes Manager Jane Tier says over 1.2 million New Zealand households and businesses are now able to connect to UFB, with deployment of phase one of the UFB programme over 80 per cent complete.
“This means that 90 per cent of businesses in New Zealand’s biggest towns and cities, which are covered under phase one of the UFB programme, are able to connect to UFB.
“UFB users can access speeds of close to 1,000 Megabits per second. For businesses, this enables fast and efficient exchange of information across New Zealand and with the rest of the world, improving productivity and competitiveness.
“New Zealand households and businesses are continuing to realise the benefits of being UFB-connected, with 460,096 of those able to connect (38 per cent) now connected. This is an 11 per cent increase in connections since the previous quarter,” says Ms Tier.
By the time the UFB programme is fully completed in 2022, 87 per cent of New Zealanders will have access to fibre to the premises. As a complement to this programme, the Rural Broadband Initiative is delivering faster broadband in rural communities outside of UFB areas.
“Over 300,000 rural households and businesses are able to connect to new or improved broadband under phase one of the Rural Broadband Initiative,” says Ms Tier.
In August 2017, new contracts were executed to extend and speed up the UFB build, and to roll out improved rural broadband and mobile coverage under the second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative, and the Mobile Black Spot Fund.
Deployment has begun in 15 places under the UFB expansion. Detailed build scheduling for the Rural Broadband Initiative and the Mobile Black Spot Fund is underway.