Today, Communications Minister Simon Bridges has announced that more than three-quarters of the build for phase one of the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme is complete.
The Minister went on to highlight “This is a fantastic milestone which means that more than 1,132,000 households and businesses now have access to fibre. At four per cent ahead of schedule, the build is now complete in 22 cities and towns across New Zealand.”
“Combined with the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), the UFB programme is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand so it’s great to see the rollout progressing so well.”
“We’re fast-moving towards our goal of 85 per cent of New Zealanders having access to fibre by the end of 2024, and for vastly improved broadband to be available in New Zealand’s rural communities.”
Mr Bridges indicated that the Government’s investment in world leading communications infrastructure is driving access to better, faster internet for New Zealanders compared to many other countries (such as Australia), as shown by Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report.
“The Report shows that in the first quarter of 2017, New Zealand’s average broadband speed increased to 14.7 Megabits per second (Mbps) – a significant leap of 40 per cent in the last year,” Mr Bridges says.
“In addition, it found that mobile broadband users in New Zealand enjoy average speeds of around 13 Mbps. This means we’re tied for third fastest in the Asia Pacific region, and puts New Zealand alongside other global connectivity leaders such as Japan and South Korea.
“Access to faster internet carries numerous benefits for people, businesses and communities right across New Zealand, allowing them to connect to each other and to the rest of the world.
The New Zealand Government’s current target for connectivity is that by 2025, 99 per cent of New Zealanders will be able to access peak download speeds of 50 Mbps or better, and the remaining one per cent able to access at least 10 Mbps. Of the total, 85% are expected to have access to Ultra-Fast Broadband which offers consumers, businesses and schools speeds of up to 1 Gigabits per second (1 Gbps).