The Government today signalled the completion of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) roll-out, one of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure deployment projects to date.
“Over 1.8 million homes across 412 cities and towns now have access to world-class connectivity. That is 87% of the population,” said Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark.
“Fast, reliable connectivity has been especially crucial in recent years as it enabled us to learn, earn and socialise online when we weren’t able to leave our homes. It meant we could check in with doctors, and run our businesses – it allowed us to stay connected with our friends and whānau.”
The UFB programme was initially rolled out to larger cities and high-density areas. It was later expanded and now covers smaller and more rural and remote towns.
“Taken alongside other government connectivity programmes such as the Rural Broadband Initiative and Mobile Blackspot Fund, we are firmly on track for ensuring 99.8% of the population has access to improved broadband by the end of 2023,” said Minister Clark.
“We proudly rank high on the world stage when it comes to access and uptake of digital connectivity, particularly the proportion of people accessing fibre.
“Today’s milestone wouldn’t have been possible without a successful public and private partnership. I commend all of those companies who have helped deploy UFB up and down the country over the past 12 years.
“I note, whilst this programme has come to an end, there are Kiwis living in remote and rural areas of the country who still have poor connectivity. You have not and will not be forgotten.
“Last month, I announced the Remote Users Scheme and further investment into the Rural Capacity Upgrade programme to reach the most remote homes in the country and lift internet speeds in rural areas.
“I also recently announced a new 10 year vision for the future of digital connectivity in New Zealand which sets the goal for all New Zealanders to have access to high-speed broadband by 2032. The job is not finished yet, but we are making great progress,” Minister Clark said.