The latest quarterly report on the government’s two-pronged Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) programmes has demonstrated solid but unspectacular progress for both. Fibre was rolled out to more than 36,000 end-users across New Zealand during the first three months of this year, bringing the total number of homes and businesses that can connect to the UFB network to more than 171,000. Further, nearly 1,500 schools are already hooked up to the UFB infrastructure. However, only 5,100 customers are said to have subscribed to a fibre-based service to date. The government press statement notes: ‘This is in line with government expectations and overseas experiences at this early stage of deployment’.
In addition, more than 100,000 rural households are now able to connect to improved wireless broadband technology through Vodafone under the RBI, while more than 42,000 users have access to better fixed line broadband through Chorus.