Today Communications Minister Amy Adams is alerting Local authorities they have just four more weeks to get their submissions in for phase two of the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
Earlier in the year, the Minister put out a call to all councils seeking their views on priority areas and how they would support better broadband in their community. Ms Adams said there had been a good amount of interest from councils and had been encouraged by their initial feedback. The cut off for responses is 3 July 2015.
“From what I have seen so far, a number of councils have grabbed this opportunity with both hands and already I’m seeing some innovative ideas.
“With only one month to go before submissions close, councils need to continue to take an active role in working with residents and businesses to identify opportunities for broadband use and support rapid uptake.
“This is a significant opportunity for councils to make a credible difference to the telecommunications infrastructure of their area and so we want councils to put their best case forward,” Ms Adams says.
The information received from local authorities and communities will be an important part of deciding the amount, type and location of infrastructure to be deployed in this next phase.
“While the Government has made excellent strides with the first phase of UFB and RBI, we want to do even more to extend better broadband to as many New Zealanders as possible.”
It’s advised the first phase of the UFB rollout is ahead of schedule with 46 per cent of the build complete and 618,000 end users able to connect to the network. Uptake is at 13.8 per cent across the country, taking the total number of end users connected to the network to 85,544.
Across all components of the RBI, total uptake is currently sitting around 25%. An additional $210 million for Ultra-Fast Broadband and $150 million for the Rural Broadband Initiative and mobile black-spots in Budget 2015 for this next phase takes the NZ Government’s total budgeted investment to $2 billion.