Local Government NZ says it welcomes the release of the tender for the second stage of the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme, and is calling for coverage across as many communities as possible.
The Government has committed up to $210 million for the extension of the UFB programme, in order to expand the fibre network from 75% of New Zealanders to at least 80% of the population.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) released today identifies a long list of potential towns and communities that are next in line to get fibre.
LGNZ and its member councils have welcomed the opportunity to work with central government and broadband suppliers to identify where this additional funding could be deployed.
“Councils have been working hard to identify the communities that could benefit from better broadband and have provided Government with detailed information to inform this RFP,” says LGNZ President Lawrence Yule.
“It is heartening that many councils are also working collaboratively to determine the broadband needs for their region and determine how this infrastructure could be best deployed from a regional perspective,” he says.
While the Government is focused on getting faster broadband to as many people as possible, LGNZ notes that some communities will still miss out on funding.
“We are calling for the Government to explore how UFB can be deployed to all communities across New Zealand, so that all of the country can benefit from the economic and social outcomes from improved communications infrastructure,” says Yule.
“State of the art broadband is essential infrastructure to help retain and attract new residents, employees and businesses to our regions, which is in line with LGNZ’s strong focus on regional development and growth across all of New Zealand.”