New Zealand’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) fibre-optic network construction programme has beaten its annual rollout target. According to government agency Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), which is managing the project, 420,000 premises had been passed by fibre networks by the end of June 2014, well ahead of the target of 389,000. The total represents a potential 517,000 end users in houses, apartments and business premises. There were 39,510 customers connected to UFB networks as of the end of June, up from 27,000 at the start of the year.
CFH is carrying out the network deployments in partnership with four so-called Local Fibre Companies (LFCs): Chorus (covering 24 urban areas including Auckland and Wellington); Ultra Fast Fibre (Central North Island, including Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Hawera and Tokoroa); Enable Networks (Christchurch, Rolleston and Raniora); and Northpower (Whangarei). While the original plan was for the UFB networks to pass 75% of premises in New Zealand by 2020, the newly re-elected National Party has vowed to increase the coverage target to 80% by the same date, promising up to NZD210 million (USD169 million) of additional funding to expand the project.