New Zealand’s national government has pledged NZD270 million (USD195 million) worth of additional investment in the country’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) networks. The NZD270 million programme will be funded by NZD240 million of recycled capital from earlier stages of the UFB programme and NZD30 million from the Telecommunications Development Levy. The investment breaks down as follows:
• NZD130 million to extend UFB fibre networks to an additional 60,000 homes and businesses in 190 new towns and complete the UFB network build by 2022; and
• NZD140 million to extend rural coverage of high speed internet connectivity under the RBI to another 74,000 rural households and businesses, and to deliver mobile coverage on 1,000km of rural highways and more than 100 tourist areas through the Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF).
Communications Minister Simon Bridges commented: ‘We started UFB in 2010 with the original goal of connecting 34 towns to world-class fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). Earlier this year we expanded it to 200 more towns and today’s announcement will bring us to 390.’