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Government exceeds UFB connection target

03 Aug 2012

New Zealand has exceeded its Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative, serving over 6000 more premises, with the fibre network now reaching more than 76,000 schools, businesses, hospitals and households in the past year.

Government reports show that under the first year of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), more than 69,000 rural homes and businesses now has access to improved broadband.

The news also means over 16,000 Christchurch homes and businesses will be able to access fibre broadband.More than 660 schools are covered by the initiatives with a further 1500 schools expected to have received fibre by June 2013.

UFB deployment has started in 24 towns and cities, with the first connections available in 17 of these regions while ten out of 57 remote rural schools has been connected to faster broadband.

The government forecasts about 235,000 premises are to be covered by the UFB network before July 2013, including 100,000 rural homes and businesses.

"It has always been our belief, based on overseas experience, that uptake will build gradually over the period of the network build,” says Amy Adams, Communications and Information Technology minister.

"We are starting to see some exciting product offerings from retail service providers, but it takes time for products to be developed for the market and for people to recognise the value of UFB.

"Despite recent comments from some quarters, New Zealand has sufficient transit capacity to handle increased network demand from UFB.”

"Fast broadband enables businesses to connect easily to the world. Our investment in broadband will support innovation, high-tech jobs, and grow productivity.”