Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
|27 August 2019||Media Statement|
|Over 90,000 more households and businesses now have UFB coverage
The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows more than 90,000 households and businesses gained access to Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) in the three months from April to June this year.
“That’s an increase in UFB coverage that’s equivalent to a city the size of Wellington and brings the total number of households and businesses able to connect to UFB to 1,576,189,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said.
“With 110 UFB cities and towns now complete, the build is now 85 per cent finished and still ahead of schedule.
On completion of the programme in 2022, there will be over 1.8 million homes and businesses in New Zealand with access to UFB,” Minister Faafoi said.
In the latest quarter, there were 55,336 new connections to UFB, lifting overall uptake to 52 per cent.
“There are also an impressive number of towns with uptake over 60 per cent, like Waiuku and Hamilton with 64 per cent uptake and Whatawhata and Tauranga close behind with 63 per cent, Mr Faafoi said.
Broadband coverage in rural areas has also increased. There are now approximately 38,000 households and businesses in hard to reach regions of New Zealand which now have access to improved broadband.
“It’s particularly pleasing that the smaller Wireless Internet Service Providers improved broadband coverage to approximately 1,500 rural households and businesses in the June quarter.
“We have heard a consistent message that rural New Zealand needs better and more widespread mobile coverage to support rural business growth, the farming and tourism sectors and rural safety.
“I look forward to seeing mobile, fixed wireless broadband, and ‘internet of things’ coverage extend further into rural New Zealand with all the benefits these will bring.
“The increased investment into the regions shows our commitment to closing the digital divide to ensure all New Zealanders who want it, have connectivity,” he said,” Mr Faafoi said
The Rural Broadband Initiative programme (RBI2) has provided 38,662 rural homes and businesses with access to improved broadband. That is enabling, amongst other things, better online farm management, improvement in farm security in isolated areas, and better education access for rural students.
The Mobile Black Spots (MBSF) programme provides mobile coverage to improve safety on state highways and enhance visitor experience at key tourist destinations.
There are now 26 tourism sites and 238 kilometres of state highway which have improved coverage from all three mobile operators.
When work on RBI2 and MBSF is completed by 2023, and combined with completion of the UFB roll-out, New Zealand will have broadband coverage to 99.8 per cent of the population.
“Being connected has become an essential part of our everyday lives.
“The availability of improved broadband and mobile coverage can make a huge difference for urban and rural households alike, for businesses across our regions, and for safety on our state highways.
The Quarterly Connectivity Report is released by Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
The report provides information on the progress of the Government-backed connectivity programmes, which are:
The Quarterly Connectivity Update can be found on CIP’s website, at this link:www.crowninfrastructure.govt.nz/quarterly.
Contact: Peter Stevens 021 871 354
NOTE TO EDITORS
National uptake of UFB is 52 per cent, which is much higher than original forecasts.
There has been a 153 per cent increase in the number of gigabit connections, which is the fastest product on the UFB network.
Peter Stevens | Press Secretary | Office of Hon Kris Faafoi MP
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister of Government Digital Services, Associate Minister of Housing
Bowen House | Private Bag 18041 | Parliament Buildings | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
DDI +64 4 817 6719 | 021 871 354
Authorised by Hon Kris Faafoi MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6011