The rate at which people are signing up for the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network is accelerating, with uptake quadrupling in the past two years, communications minister Amy Adams has announced. During the three months to 31 December 2014, the number of end users connected to a fibre-optic UFB service increased by 26% from 55,010 to 69,301. In total more than 570,000 New Zealand homes and workplaces are now able to connect to fibre. Adams commented: ‘In December, Oamaru became the third town to be fully fibred, alongside Whangarei and Te Awamutu, with more towns expected to be completed in the coming months. A total of 2,285 schools now have fibre ready for service.’
Meanwhile, under the government’s parallel Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), Vodafone now has 104 new towers ready for service, making the new tower build over two-thirds complete. More than three-quarters of the RBI tower upgrades are now complete, with 305 towers upgraded. An estimated 231,000 addresses are able to connect to fixed-wireless RBI from the new and upgraded towers.