Government announces investment in rural broadband capacity

29 Apr 2020

The New Zealand government has announced new investment in rural broadband network capacity, which it hopes will ‘help lift the development and wellbeing of isolated communities as New Zealand’s economy recovers from COVID-19’. Up to NZD15 million (USD9.06 million) in savings from the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative (UFB) initiative has been allocated to upgrade existing rural mobile towers, improve wireless backhaul between remote sites and central networks, and install external antennae to households to improve coverage.

‘This investment brings broadband services to rural households that are currently without access to the internet, and means remote communities will be much better equipped to get going again when we exit lockdown,’ Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said in a press release. He added that while the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative aims to provide access to 99.8% of the population by the end of 2021, this work will bring forward capacity upgrades to meet demand in isolated regions during the pandemic.

New Zealand