Demand for UFB gigabit connections soars

The latest Quarterly Connectivity Update to December 2019 shows a large increase in gigabit services on the Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) network, with more than 110,000 gigabit connections at the end of the quarter.

There has been a sizable increase of over 20,000 connections to the gigabit service in the last quarter, representing just under 50% of all new UFB connections in that time.

“The growth in gigabit connections demonstrates that there is an ever-increasing demand for bandwidth, where customers now have multiple devices operating in the same household” said Graham Mitchell, CEO of Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP). “This is especially so now that a significant proportion of video consumed by New Zealanders is delivered over the internet”.

UFB partners have or are preparing to launch next generation UFB services at speeds of 2, 4 and 8 gigabits per second, which utilize the next generation of network technology. “It’s exciting to see these very high-speed services launched, which only UFB can support, clearly demonstrating the significant capacity the UFB network can provide” said Mr Mitchell.

The average speed of a UFB broadband connection has exceeded 200 megabits per second for the first time, now at 205 megabits per second. At the end of December there were 146 UFB towns or cities complete (an addition of 20 towns this quarter). Overall, 81% of New Zealanders can now access UFB.

“Rolleston is still the top town in New Zealand for UFB uptake, and in fact has increased its uptake byanother 2%, to 76%” said Mitchell.

The Marae digital connectivity programme is moving at pace now, with 35 new marae connected in the quarter, taking the total marae connected to 62.

Twenty new mobile towers have been completed in this quarter under the Rural Broadband Initiative phase 2 and Mobile Black Spots Programme (RBI2/MBSF).

In combination with ‘wireless internet service provider’ (WISP) partners, this has extended improved broadband coverage to an additional 2,612 rural households and businesses.

Mr Mitchell says “It is pleasing to see the continued progress in rural communities, providing much needed connectivity to these often hard to reach regions”.

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.

The Quarterly Connectivity Report is released by Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and can be
found at:

The report provides information on the progress of:

  • Ultra-Fast Broadband roll-out
  • the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase Two and Mobile Black Spots Fund programme
  • Provincial Growth Fund marae digital connectivity programme


  • The ‘gigabit service’ is a UFB broadband Ethernet service that provides speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second download and 500 megabit per second upload on the wholesale UFB network. It is important to note that technical constraints mean the retail service will deliver close to a full gigabit to end customers, as some of the bandwidth is required for internet overheads and address headers for the end service.
  • At the end of the quarter, the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two (RBI2) has made improved broadband available to 42,690 rural households and businesses, which is 51 percent of the overall target.
  • Under the Mobile Black Spot Fund Programme (MBSF), mobile coverage is being deployed to State Highway ‘blackspots’ where there is currently no mobile coverage, to support public safety in high traffic areas where there are high incident rates.
    • 359 kilometres of mobile coverage have been deployed on State Highway ‘blackspots’
    •  Mobile coverage is also being deployed to tourism locations around New Zealand where there is currently no mobile coverage, to support tourism and economic growth. 33 tourism sites have new mobile coverage
  • WISPs are the 17 ‘wireless internet service providers’ who have partnered with Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to deliver the RBI2 programme, along with the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) who has contracted to deliver RBI2 and MBSF. RCG is a joint venture of the three mobile network operators, deploying mobile towers for RBI2/MBSF.
  • The Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) programme is the broadband programme deploying fibre-to- premises to 87 per cent of the population by 2022. At the end of the quarter, UFB is available to 81 per cent of the population; with UFB connectivity completed to 146 towns and cities.
    • National uptake of UFB is 56.2 per cent, which is much higher than original forecasts.
    • In the September quarter there has been a 19 per cent increase in the number of
      gigabit connections.
  • UFB partners are the four companies contracted to CIP to deploy the UFB network: Chorus, Ultrafast Fibre, Northpower and Enable.
  • The Marae Digital Connectivity programme enables marae (and regional digital hubs) to receive a grant-funded broadband connection and associated hardware to enable use of the connection, creating marae ‘digital hubs’ that support communities to undertake economic activity and enhance their digital capability.
  • Lists of the 20 towns with UFB completed, four tourism sites completed, and 20 mobile towers completed in the quarter are on the following pages.
  • More information can be found at CIP’s

Towns with UFB completed in December 2019 quarter 

Kuaotunu (Thames-Coromandel District)
Whangapoua (Thames-Coromandel District)
Aongetete (Western Bay of Plenty District)
Te Puke (Western Bay of Plenty District)
Matamata (Matamata-Piako District)
Raglan (Waikato District)
Napier-Hastings (Hawke’s Bay Region)
Havelock North (Hastings District)
Waimarama (Hastings District)
Manaia (South Taranaki District)
Porirua (Porirua City)
Upper Hutt (Upper Hutt City)
Hutt City (Hutt City)
Waikanae (Kapiti Coast District)
Kapiti (Kapiti Coast District)
Southbridge (Selwyn District)
Te Anau (Southland District)
Winton (Southland District)

Tourism sites completed in December 2019 quarter (mobile coverage)

Towns with UFB completed in December 2019 quarter
Spirits Bay (Far North District)
TECT Park (Western Bay of Plenty District)
Adrenaline Forest (Western Bay of Plenty District)
Dipton (Southland District)

Mobile towers completed in December 2019 quarter

Broadwood (Far North District)
Te Paki (Far North District)
Kaipara East (Kaipara District)
Whakapirau (Kaipara District)
Punakitere (Hokianga District)
Tect All Terrain Park (Western Bay of Plenty District)
Rangiwhaia (Manawhatu District)
Cricklewood Station (Wairoa District)
Ohuka (Wairoa District)
Ohuka (Wairoa District)
Douglas (Stratford District)
Hikuwai (Wanaka District)
Waihola (Clutha District)
Colac Bay (Southland District)
Whakapatu (Southland District)
Waihoaka (Southland District)
Springhills (Southland District)
Heddon Bush (Southland District)
Mabel Bush (Southland District)
Dipton (Southland District)
Kapuka South (Southland District)