The New Zealand government has announced the successful completion of the second phase of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network, concluding an eleven-year national programme which has provided fibre connectivity to 1.8 million homes across 412 towns and cities, equivalent to 87% of the country’s population. The project, a partnership between Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and wholesale fixed line providers Chorus, Enable, Northpower and Tuatahi First Fibre, was completed on time and on budget.
The first stage of the UFB project was completed in November 2019, at which point fibre broadband was available to 79% of New Zealanders, while an extension to the programme announced in January 2017 expanded the footprint to smaller and more remote towns. The four fibre companies and their contractors have spent more than 45 million work hours installing cabling over the past decade, with Chorus alone deploying more than 98,000km of fibre in the two stages.
‘Today’s milestone wouldn’t have been possible without a successful public and private partnership. I commend all of those companies who have helped deploy UFB up and down the country over the past twelve years,’ said Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications David Clark. ‘Taken alongside other government connectivity programmes such as the Rural Broadband Initiative and Mobile Blackspot Fund, we are firmly on track for ensuring 99.8% of the population has access to improved broadband by the end of 2023,’ he added.