Today it has been revealed what funding has been set aside in the 2015 Budget to deliver on the Government’s commitment to roll out world-class internet connectivity for New Zealanders with the extension of its flagship broadband initiatives..
Communications Minister Amy Adams advises a contingency of up to $210 million in capital funding from the Future Investment Fund secures the next stage of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) in extending it to 80 per cent of New Zealanders. This will be finalised following a business case.
As previously indicated, an extension of the Telecommunications Development Levy will provide $150 million for major improvements in rural broadband and to fill mobile black spots. The extension will be included in 2015 Budget legislation.
These investments take the Government’s total funding across the two programmes to $2 billion.
“Better connectivity is critical to building a stronger economy and creating more jobs and higher wages,” Ms Adams says. “New Zealand’s digital economy is undergoing a transformation as we roll out Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative throughout the country. Fast and reliable connectivity is critical to New Zealand’s economic growth. Like running water and electricity, connectivity has become a vital service for homes and businesses.”
The projects related to the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) make up one of New Zealand’s most ambitious infrastructure programmes. It has been advised that 46 per cent of the first stage of the UFB programme is completed, and it is ahead of schedule and within budget. The first stage of RBI is more than 73 per cent complete as at May 2015.