New Zealand Completes One Quarter of its Fiber Project

  • Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI)
  • Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - More than a quarter of the government’s Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative has been completed, according to the latest quarterly report on the government’s UFB and Rural Broadband Initiate (RBI) programs. In the last quarter of 2013, a further 40,630 end users gained access to fiber. This brings the total number of end users who can connect to the UFB network to 363,109 people, meaning 27 percent of the project has been completed.

Under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), more than 179,000 rural homes and businesses now have access to fast wireless broadband, and over 60,000 rural homes and businesses have access to improved copper broadband services. Vodafone installed 16 new towers and upgraded a further 60 towers under the RBI.

2000 Schools Now Have Fiber Access

More than 2000 schools now have fiber installed and ready for service. In addition, 39 of the most remote rural schools in New Zealand now have access to broadband capable of peak speeds of at least 10 Mbps (about four times faster than previous services). In all, more than 80 percent of all schools that will be covered by the program can now connect to faster broadband.

Over the last quarter, the number of customers signing up to a service under the UFB program has jumped by about 40 percent, taking the total number to nearly 20,000. This is in line with government expectations and overseas experiences at this stage of deployment, when there is still six more years to complete the UFB build.

FTTP to Reach 75 Percent of New Zealanders by 2019
Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) is a government program to expand and develop New Zealand’s broadband services. UFB will bring fiber optic technology to businesses, schools, hospitals, marae and homes, enabling 75 percent of New Zealanders to access fiber to the premise by the end of 2019. Schools, hospitals and 90 percent of businesses in the coverage area will be connected by the end of 2015. Homes and the remaining 10 percent of businesses will be connected by the end of 2019. Fiber will be capable of peak speeds of at least 100 Mbps. The government is contributing $1.35 billion to the initiative, with further investment by the UFB partners.

RBI Addresses Broadband Needs of Rural New Zealand
The RBI has been implemented by the government to address the specific broadband infrastructure needs of rural New Zealand. The government is contributing $300 million, with further investment from the RBI partners. It will bring high-speed broadband to 252,000 customers, enabling 86 percent of rural houses and businesses to access broadband peak speeds of at least 5 Mbps, through fixed wireless and improved copper services.

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