The New Zealand government has announced plans to invest NZD1.5 billion (USD845.6 million) in its national broadband network (NBN) initiative. The funding will be distributed through a state-owned investment company, Crown Fibre Investment Co (CFIC). The company will work alongside a group of private co-investors, including telcos and broadband operators, to deploy the network infrastructure. The government expects private investment to match its pledge, bringing total investment in the scheme to NZD3 billion. Communications Minister Steven Joyce said, `The government investment will be in fibre networks that will operate only at the wholesale level, selling ‘dark fibre’-based services enabling telecommunications providers to design and specify their own downstream services.’ The initiative is planned to connect 25 towns and cities providing broadband coverage to 75% of the population.