The second phase of the New Zealand government’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) deployment is now underway, with the authorities planning to cover up to 85% of the population by 2024. This projection follows 2009’s announcement that the government plans to reach 75% of the population by 2020, and 2015’s target of 80% coverage by 2020. A total of 18 towns have been earmarked for fast-tracked UFB deployment (to be completed by 2020), with rollout locations situated in the regions of Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Manwatu-Whanganui and the West Coast.
Government-backed Crown Fibre Holdings has awarded four telcos UFB deployment contracts, namely: Northpower, Ultrafast Fibre, Chorus and Enable. The organisation has claimed that, by the end of 2024, a further 423,000 New Zealanders will have access to the UFB network.